You are on page 1of 514

RADIOACTIVE WASTE

Edited by Rehab Abdel Rahman












Radioactive Waste
Edited by Rehab Abdel Rahman


Published by InTech
Janeza Trdine 9, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia

Copyright 2012 InTech
All chapters are Open Access distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
license, which allows users to download, copy and build upon published articles even for
commercial purposes, as long as the author and publisher are properly credited, which
ensures maximum dissemination and a wider impact of our publications. After this work
has been published by InTech, authors have the right to republish it, in whole or part, in
any publication of which they are the author, and to make other personal use of the
work. Any republication, referencing or personal use of the work must explicitly identify
the original source.

As for readers, this license allows users to download, copy and build upon published
chapters even for commercial purposes, as long as the author and publisher are properly
credited, which ensures maximum dissemination and a wider impact of our publications.

Notice
Statements and opinions expressed in the chapters are these of the individual contributors
and not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. No responsibility is accepted for the
accuracy of information contained in the published chapters. The publisher assumes no
responsibility for any damage or injury to persons or property arising out of the use of any
materials, instructions, methods or ideas contained in the book.

Publishing Process Manager Sasa Leporic
Technical Editor Teodora Smiljanic
Cover Designer InTech Design Team

First published April, 2012
Printed in Croatia

A free online edition of this book is available at www.intechopen.com
Additional hard copies can be obtained from orders@intechopen.com


Radioactive Waste, Edited by Rehab Abdel Rahman
p. cm.
ISBN 978-953-51-0551-0








Contents

Preface IX
Section 1 Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Planning and Implementation
of Radioactive Waste Management System 3
R. O. Abdel Rahman
Chapter 2 A Controversial Management Process: From
the Remnants of the Uranium Mining Industry to Their
Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France 19
Philippe Brunet
Chapter 3 Problems of Uranium Waste and
Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions 39
B. M. Djenbaev, B. K. Kaldybaev and B. T. Zholboldiev
Chapter 4 Environmental Migration of Radionuclides
(
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated
Areas of the Southern Urals 65
V. V. Kostyuchenko, A. V. Akleyev,
L. M. Peremyslova, I. Ya. Popova,
N. N. Kazachonok and V. S. Melnikov
Section 2 Pre-Disposal Activities 99
Chapter 5 Radioactive Waste Assay for Reclassification 101
Timothy Miller
Chapter 6 Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility 117
Nandy Maitreyee and C. Sunil
Chapter 7 Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production of Medical
Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors 139
D. Yu. Chuvilin, V. E. Khvostionov,
D. V. Markovskij, V. A. Pavshouk and V. A. Zagryadsky
VI Contents

Chapter 8 Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive
Waste by Effective Transmutation of Minor
Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets 163
Michio Yamawaki, Kenji Konashi, Koji Fujimura
and Toshikazu Takeda
Chapter 9 Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells
From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor 197
A. O. Pavelescu and M. Dragusin
Chapter 10 Decontamination of Radioactive
Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2
219
Kwangheon Park, Jinhyun Sung,
Moonsung Koh, Hongdu Kim and Hakwon Kim
Chapter 11 Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product 239
James J. Neeway, Nikolla P. Qafoku, Joseph H. Westsik Jr.,
Christopher F. Brown, Carol M. Jantzen and Eric M. Pierce
Chapter 12 Experimental Verification
of Solidification Stress Theory 263
Charles Solbrig, Matthew Morrison
and Kenneth Bateman
Chapter 13 Cadmium Personnel Doses
in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 283
Clinton Wilson, Chad Pope
and Charles Solbrig
Chapter 14 Radioactive Waste
Management of Fusion Power Plants 303
Luigi Di Pace, Laila El-Guebaly,
Boris Kolbasov, Vincent Massaut
and Massimo Zucchetti
Section 3 Disposal Activities 329
Chapter 15 Diffusion of Radionuclides in Concrete and Soil 331
Shas V. Mattigod, Dawn M. Wellman,
Chase C. Bovaird, Kent E. Parker,
Kurtis P. Recknagle, Libby Clayton
and Marc I. Wood
Chapter 16 Hydrogeologic Characterization of Fractured Rock
Masses Intended for Disposal of Radioactive Waste 351
Donald M. Reeves, Rishi Parashar and Yong Zhang
Contents VII

Chapter 17 Statistical Analyses of Pore Pressure Signals
in Claystone During Excavation Works at
the Mont Terri Underground Research Laboratory 373
Rachid Ababou, Hassane Fatmi, Jean-Michel Matray,
Christophe Nussbaum and David Bailly
Chapter 18 Particulate Phases Possibly Conveyed
from Nuclear Waste Repositories by Groundwater 431
Constantin Marin
Chapter 19 Modelling Groundwater Contamination
Above High-Level Nuclear-Waste Repositories
in Salt, Granitoid and Clay 459
Michal O. Schwartz
Chapter 20 An Assessment of the Impact of Advanced
Nuclear Fuel Cycles on Geological Disposal 487
Jan Marivoet and Eef Weetjens







Preface

The safe management of nuclear and radioactive wastes is a subject that has recently
received considerable recognition from public and different governmental, regional
and international bodies. This recognition has not only stem from the huge volume of
cumulative wastes from previous practice in both peaceful and military fields, but also
because the public relate their acceptance for new nuclear power programs to their
confidence in the waste management practice. These points impose new burdens on
the workers in the waste management field, since they have to understand and deal
with technical difficulties beside their reactions to non-technical issues. This book aims
to cover the practice and research efforts that are currently conducted to deal with the
technical difficulties in different radioactive waste management activities and to
introduce to the non-technical factors that can affect the management practice.
International experts have cooperated to summarize their practical experience and
present advances in managing different types of radioactive wastes and their long-
term behavior. The book is targeting professional people in the radioactive waste
management industry and reader with technical background such as graduate and
postgraduate students undertaking courses in Environmental Science and
Environmental, Civil, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering.
The book consists of 20 chapters, organized into three sections that cover important
topics in the radioactive waste management field. The first four chapters are
introductory, that introduces to the waste management system, explain the
interference between technical and non-technical factors, and illustrate how old
management practices and radioactive accident can affect the environment. The
opening chapter By Dr. R. O. Abdel Rahman, introduces the radioactive waste
management system and refer to the technical and non-technical aspects for planning
and implementing this system. Dr. P. Brunet presents the historical interference
between the technical, social and political factors and summarizes the controversial
management process for uranium mine in France. Prof. Dejenbeav et al. present methods
and results of the recent identification of uranium tailings in Kyrgyzstan. And finally, the
long-term environmental migration from accidentally contaminated site in southern
urals in Russian federation was summarized by Prof. Kostyuchenko et al.
The second section is concerned with pre-disposal activities, it summarizes the
knowledge gained from current radioactive waste management practice and results of
X Preface

research efforts for using some innovative technologies. The presented activities
include reclassification, reduction of generated wastes, decontamination practice and
advances, assessment of the performance of different solidified wastes and waste
management facilities. The section is beginning with the presentation of a new
analytical technique that is used in U.K. for the reclassification of the wastes at the
Atomic Weapon Establishment (AWE) by Dr. Miller.
The reduction of the amount of generated radioactive wastes is one of the most
important topics in radioactive waste management. Three chapters are presenting this
topic, the first deals with the reduction of radioactive wastes in the design phase of
Accelerator Driven Subcritical System. This chapter, by Prof. Nandy et al., was
directed to estimate the induced activity in the two windows types, which separate
between the target and beam pipe in Accelerator Driven Subcritical System. A method
for reducing the radioactive wastes associated by medical isotope production is
presented by Dr. Yu et al. This new low waste technology for the production of
medical isotopes (Mo99 and Sr89) using a homogenous liquid nuclear fuel that were
conducted in Kurchatov Institute Russian Federation. Where the third chapter is
related to the transmutation of minor actinides in fast reactors as a technique to reduce
the half life of these actinides and consequently reduce the requirements for managing
these wastes. Prof. Yamawaki Michio et al. are presenting in this chapter the results of
actinide-hydride target transmutation research.
The decontamination of contaminated facilities is one of the phases that led to the
generation of radioactive wastes, as secondary wastes, good planning and
implementation of this phase can led to the minimization of the generated secondary
radioactive wastes. Two chapters in this section deals with this topic, Dr. Pavelescu
Alexandru Octavian et al. addressed the practice of the clean up and decontamination
of hot cells in IFIN-HH VVR-S research reactor, Romania. The second chapter by Prof.
Park Kwangheon et al. introduces innovative technique to reduce the amount of
generated secondary wastes.
Producing a stable radioactive waste form is an important activity in the management
practice, three chapters were devoted to present the recent research effort in this
activity. The utilization of fluidized bed steam reforming process to immobilize
radioactive wastes is discussed by Dr. Neeway et al. The aim of this chapter is to
assess the performance of this technique in immobilizing the radioactive wastes. The
second chapter was directed to study the solidification stress induced in ceramic waste
form produced from the immobilization of actinides and fission products by Dr.
Solbrig Charles et al. The third chapter, by Dr. Clinton Wilson et al, aimed to assess the
impact of accidental release of cadmium from immobilization facility. That assessment
was conducting by estimating the airborne cadmium concentration caused by facility
design base earthquake which damages the electrorefiner vessel. The last chapter in
this section is summarizing the waste management practice in fusion technology. By
Dr. Luigi Di Pace et al.
Preface XI

The third section provides the reader with an overview of the performance of the
waste package, site characterization studies, and modelling ground water efforts. The
first chapter by Dr. Mattigod et al., assess the performance of waste package under
unsaturated conditions. The diffusivity measurements of Re, Tc and I in concrete
containment and the surrounding vadose zone was presented. The effects of
carbonation, presence of metallic iron, and fracturing of concrete and the varying
moisture contents in soil on the diffusivities of Tc and I were summarized.
Within the site selection activity, the relative importance of the processes that occur
within the site and can affect the disposal performance is evaluated and important
parameters for assessing the system performance are collected and utilized to ensure
that the host environment is having a good containment performance. One of the
criteria that determine the suitability of a specific site to host high level radioactive
waste disposal is the radionuclides transport through the fracture of the host rock. The
identification of the fracture network using a new approach was addressed by Dr.
Reeves et al. The proposed approach is relaying on screening the candidate host rock
according to relatively simple criteria obtained from fracture characterization. The
characterization of elastic specific storativity and elastic effective porosity in claystone
sites is an important topic to model the performance of the claystone as a host rock. Dr.
Ababou et al summarizes the statistical methods utilized in quantifying the
performance of the clay rock under barometric and earth tides fluctuations. Dr.
Constantin summarized the effect of the presence of particulate phases on the
radionuclides transport form disposal facilities. His review work is dedicated to
provide an adequate definition of the particulate phases, and their effect on
radiocolloids development and distribution.
Modeling groundwater contamination is an essential activity to ensure the long-term
safety of the disposal facility, Dr. Michael is summarizing the modelling effort to
predict the groundwater contamination above high-level waste disposal in three
different host rocks. And finally the impact of using transmutation on the radioactive
waste management the geological disposal was discussed by Dr. Marivot et al. The
chapter is summarizing the results of important international projects that studied
these topics.

R. O. Abdel Rahman
Hot Lab. Center, Atomic Energy Authority of Egypt
Egypt
Section 1
Introduction

1
Planning and Implementation
of Radioactive Waste Management System
R. O. Abdel Rahman
Hot Lab. Center, Atomic Energy Authority of Egypt,
Egypt
1. Introduction
The application of radioactive and nuclear materials in power generation, industries, and
research can lead to radioactive pollution. The sources of this pollution might include the
discharge of radionuclides to the environment by nuclear power facilities, military
establishments, research organizations, hospitals and general industry. Also, historical tests of
nuclear weapons, nuclear and radioactive accidents and the deliberate discharge of radioactive
wastes are representing major sources for this pollution (R.O. Abdel Rahman et. al 2012).
Several international agreements and declarations were developed to control the radioactive
pollution especially those related to the discharge of radionuclides to the environment. These
agreements and declarations impose obligations on national policies to prevent the occurrence
of radioactive pollution (IAEA 200a, 2010). On national scale, governments are responsible for
protecting the public and environments; the manner at which this responsibility is
implemented varies from country to country by using different legislative measures.
The protection of the environment and human health from the detrimental effects of
radioactive wastes could be achieved through the effective development and
implementation of radioactive waste management system. Recently, some trends that
influence the practice of radioactive waste management have emerged worldwide. These
trends include planning and application of radioactive waste policy and strategy, issue of
new legislation and regulations, new waste minimization strategies, strengthen the quality
assurance procedures, increased use of safety and risk assessment, strengthened application
of physical protection and safeguards measures in designing and operation of waste
management facilities, and new technological options (R.O. Abdel Rahman et. al 2011 a). In
this chapter, the recent development in radioactive waste management planning and
implementation will be overviewed, the prerequisites and elements for developing and
implementing radioactive waste policy and strategy will be highlighted. The advances in the
development and application of legal framework and different technical options for
radioactive waste management activities will be briefly introduced.
2. Waste management policy and strategy development
Policy is defined as a plan or course of action, as of a government, political party, or
business, intended to influence and determine decisions and actions (the three dictionary

Radioactive Waste

4
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/policy). In the beginning of the nuclear era, the
countries that first started to utilize nuclear and radioactive materials did not have any
radioactive waste policy or strategy. To address the radioactive waste issue, some countries
had developed and implemented permanent disposal repositories for radioactive wastes
and other countries placed radioactive wastes into on-site or off-site storage facilities
without the development of national policy for dealing with these wastes.
Preventing risks, to human and the environment, associated with exposure to radioactive
wastes was the primary reason to motivate the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) to formulate and publish the policy principals statement in 1995 that deals with
the environmental and ethical issue related to managing and disposing these wastes. This
statement indicated that "Radioactive waste should be managed in such a way as to secure an
acceptable level of protection for human health, provide an acceptable level of protection for the
environment, assure that possible effects on human health and the environment beyond national
borders will be taken into account, ensure that the predicted impacts on the health of future
generations will not be greater than relevant levels of impact that are acceptable today, and that the
management practice will not impose undue burdens on future generations. Also, radioactive
waste should be managed within an appropriate national legal framework including clear
allocation of responsibilities and provision for independent regulatory functions, the generation of
radioactive waste shall be kept to the minimum practicable, interdependencies among all steps in
radioactive waste generation and management should be taken into account and the safety of
facilities for radioactive waste management shall be appropriately assured during their lifetime"
(IAEA 1995).
These policy principles can be applied to all types of radioactive wastes, regardless their
physical and chemical characteristics or origin. In addition to these principles, each
country have its own policy principles that define the aims and requirements for the
regulatory and legislative framework and might includes administrative and operational
measure (R.O. Abdel Rahman et. al). These principals are reflecting the national priorities,
circumstances, structures, and human and financial resources. In 2009, IAEA has
identified the prerequisites and elements for the development of national radioactive
waste management policy. These prerequisites and elements are summarized in Table 1
(IAEA 2009).
As indicated above, some countries started to build and operate radioactive waste disposal
without the existence of national waste management policy. Nowadays, these countries
started to develop national radioactive waste management policy principals. On the other
hand, some existing national radioactive waste management policy principals may need to
be updated to improve parts of the policy based on experience of its application and to
reflect the changing circumstances in the country and in the world (IAEA 2009). Within this
context, the South African policy and strategy document recently developed and was issued
in 2005. It included beside the international principals proposed by the IAEA some national
principals, that identify the financial and human resources, management transparency and
public perception, nature of waste decision making process, international cooperation and
national involvement (Department of minerals and energy 2005). In 2007, policy for the
long-term management of the United Kingdom's solid low-level radioactive waste was
developed following public consultation. That policy statement covers all management
aspects for these wastes; it defines this waste category and the key requirements for the

Planning and Implementation of Radioactive Waste Management System

5
management plans. It identifies the importance of using risk informed decision making
process, minimization of waste generation, transparency and public involvement, and the
consideration of potential effect of climatic changes. Finally it outlines waste import and
export and the national organization involvement (Defra 2007).


Prerequisites Elements
Existence of institutional structure
(regulatory body, operational
organization)
Allocation of responsibilities between the
government, regulatory body and
operational organizations
Existence of national legal structure and
regulatory framework
Identification of safety measure in addition
to physical protection and security of
facilities
Availability of resources to implement the
policy
Mechanisms for providing and maintaining
the financial, technical and human
resources
Applicable international conventions
Address the need to minimize the
generation of radioactive waste at the
design.
Identify the export/import of option for
radioactive wastes.
Indicative national inventories (amounts
and types) of existing and anticipated
wastes should be identified
Decide whether the spent fuel is considered
as resource or as waste, or returned to
supplier
Identify the main sources of radioactive
waste and the intended technical
management arrangements.
Identify whether the nuclear regulations
are applied to naturally occurring
radioactive material (NORM) or not based
on its radioactive properties.
The main parties concerned and involved
with spent fuel and radioactive waste
management in the country
Indicate the extent of public and
stakeholder involvement
The existing relevant national policies and
its applicable strategies, if any, should be
available in response to any policy
development

Table 1. Prerequisites and element for the development of national radioactive waste policy
After developing the waste management policy principals there is a need to have practical
mechanisms to implement these principals, those practical mechanisms are forming the
strategy. The first step in developing the waste management strategy is to assign the
strategy development responsibility, then assess the availability of information that will be
used to develop the strategy. The IAEA has developed a list of important information that
should be taken into account during the development of waste management strategy. Those

Radioactive Waste

6
include the estimation of existing and anticipated waste inventory and waste management
facilities, the existence of acceptable waste classification system and regulation, the
evaluation of waste characteristics and available resources, the knowledge of waste
management strategies in other countries and the identification of concerned parties (IAEA
2009). The second step in the development of waste management strategy is the
identification of possible end point and technical options. Finally the optimal strategy is
determined and the implementation responsibility is assigned. It is worthy to mention that
in strategy development, there are two alternatives. The first is a one level method called
national plan, which is formulated from a national perspective and often specify one waste
operator who is responsible for coordinating the development of such plans. While in the
second method, there are two levels for formulating the strategy. At the first level the
principal strategy elements are prescribed in general terms as a national strategy by
government. At the second level, the detailed implementation of the principal strategy
elements is delegated to particular waste owners (company strategies).
To assist the member countries in the nuclear energy agency (NEA), in developing safe
sustainable and broadly acceptable strategies for the long-term management of all types of
radioactive wastes. NEA has published recently the strategic plan that identity the role of
the radioactive waste management committee (RWMC) with respect to the challenges that
face the member countries and describe the area of interest for the future work. The
identified strategic areas of interest included the following (NEA 2011):
1. Organization of a comprehensive waste management system, including its financing
2. Development of robust and optimized roadmaps for spent fuel and radioactive waste
management towards disposal, including transportation
3. Licensing the first geological repositories for high level wastes and /or spent fuel and
for other long-lived wastes
4. Industrial implementation of deep geological disposal
5. Effective decommissioning
6. Management of low level wastes and special types of radioactive waste
7. Knowledge management and long-term preservation of records, knowledge and
memory
3. Developments and implementation of legal framework
To ensure a safe practice for radioactive waste management, there is a need to develop and
implement legal framework successfully (IAEA 2000 b). This framework is a part of the
national legal system and usually has a hierarchy structure. IAEA has identified a four-level
legal framework. The first level in this hierarchy is at the constitutional level, where the
basic institutional and legal structure governing all relationships in the country is
established. Below this level, there is the statutory level, at which specific laws are enacted
by a parliament in order to establish necessary bodies and to adopt measures relating to the
broad range of activities affecting national interests. At this level the independency of the
regulatory body should be established and maintained. The third level comprises
regulations for authorization, regulatory review and assessment, inspection and
enforcement. And the final level consists of non-mandatory guidance instruments, which
contain recommendations designed to assist persons and organizations in meeting the legal
requirements (Stoiber et. al. 2003). In 2005, NEA identified the responsibility of each level

Planning and Implementation of Radioactive Waste Management System

7
development as follow: the first and second level is the responsibility of the main national
legislative body. The third level is the responsibility of the government departments or
ministries whose portfolios cover one or more aspects affected or influenced by the
management of radioactive waste. Exceptionally, the third level in the form of binding rules
or codes as distinct from standards may be the responsibility of other bodies such as EPA
and NRC in the United States or SSI and SKI in Sweden. There are two philosophies that
could be adopted to develop the third and fourth levels, at the first there is a need to
develop specifications standards and guides to direct the implementer on how to implement
the first and second legislations. At this philosophy, the regulator has some responsibilities
and the operator elaborate the detailed specifications then the reviewer and decision is
made by the regulator. In the second philosophy, the regulation system is based only on the
primary and secondary legislations (NEA 2005, Norrby & Wingefors 1995).
After the establishment of the policy principles set, legal framework is created. To ensure
the compliance with the legal framework, there is a need to acquire a formal legal
instrument often described as license, permit or authorization. Depending on national legal
framework, the licensing process may begin with some kind of decision on the site selection
or site authorization or with the construction permit. Successful experiences in facility
sitting have shown that active regulatory involvement is needed and is also possible
without endangering the independence and integrity of the regulatory authorities (NEA
2003).
4. Technical option for radioactive waste management
Radioactive waste management schemes differ from country to country, but the
philosophical approach adopted generally is to dispose these wastes in environmentally
acceptable ways (R.O. Abdel Rahman et. al 2005 a). During the planning for such scheme,
the collection and segregation of wastes, their volume reduction and appropriate
conditioning into a form suitable for future handling, transportation, storage and disposal
are considered. Pertinent activities in managing radioactive waste are schematically given in
Fig. 1. This section is focused on introducing different waste management activities with
special emphasizes on new waste minimization strategies, importance of quality assurance,
risk and performance assessment.
4.1 Minimization of waste generation
The objectives of waste minimization strategy are to limit the generation and spread of
radioactive contamination and to reduce the volume of the managed wastes in the
subsequent storage and disposal activities. The achievement of these objectives will limit the
environmental impacts and total costs associated with contaminated material management.
The main elements of this strategy can be grouped into four principals: source reduction,
prevention of contamination spread, recycle and reuse, and waste management
optimization (IAEA 2001 a, 2007). The reduction of the waste generation at the source begins
during the planning for any facility that produces radioactive or nuclear wastes. This
principal could be achieved by selecting appropriate processes and technologies, the
selection of construction and operational material, and the implementation of appropriate
procedures during the operational phase. Also, raising the awareness of the importance of

Radioactive Waste

8
waste minimization through training the employees, and the development and application
of contamination and quality control procedures represent important tools to implement the
waste minimization strategy.



Fig. 1. Radioactive Waste System
Spread of radioactive contamination can lead to creation of secondary wastes, so preventing
contamination is consider one of the waste minimization principals. Proper zoning of the
facility at the design phase, administrative controls, management initiatives, and selection of
decontamination processes are mean keys in reducing the probability of contamination.
Finally, the selection of the treatment processes and the utilized chemicals may help in
avoiding the production of chemically toxic radioactive wastes.
The recycle and reuse is an attractive method to minimize the generated wastes during the
refurbishment and decommissioning of radioactive and nuclear facilities. The decision of
selecting this method is dependent on the availability of regulations and criteria, suitable
measurement methodology and instrumentation and public acceptance.
Conditioning
Characterization
Generation
Transportation
Storage / Disposal
WAC
Treatment
Transportation

Planning and Implementation of Radioactive Waste Management System

9
The last element in the waste minimization strategies is the optimization of radioactive
waste management program that can reduce the volume of the secondary waste. Proper
characterization of the generated wastes helps in sorting and segregation of the wastes
according to its physical, chemical and radiological characteristics and facilitates the
optimization of the treatment option.
4.2 Treatment technical options
Treatment is defined as operations intended to benefit safety and/or economy by changing
the characteristics of the waste. The basic treatment objectives are volume reduction,
removal of radionuclides from the waste and changing the composition of the waste (IAEA
2003 a). There are various commercial volume reduction technologies; the selection of any of
these technologies is largely depending on the waste type. To facilitate the selection of the
treatment options, the wastes are classified according to their activity limit (e.g. exempt
waste, very low level waste, low level waste, intermediate level waste, and high level
waste), chemical properties (e.g. aqueous/organic waste, acidity/alkalinity, chemical
stability, redox potential, toxicity), physical characteristics (liquid/solid/gas, density,
morphology, compactability and level of segregation) and biological properties. Table 2 lists
the commercial technical treatment options for managing different waste classes (IAEA
1999, 1994 a ,2009, Ojovan, 2011 ).


Liquid aqueous waste Liquid organic waste Solid wastes Gaseous
Chemical precipitation
(Coagulation/flocculation
/separation)
Incineration
Storage for decay
(for very low level
wastes)
Filtration

Ion exchange Emulsification Compaction Sorption,
Evaporation Absorption Melting, Scrubbing
Reverse osmosis
Phase separation
(e.g. distillation)
Fragmentation
Membrane processes Wet oxidation Incineration
Evaporation Alkaline hydrolysis Encapsulation,
Electrochemical
Solvent extraction
Table 2. Available technical treatment options for different waste categories
4.3 Conditioning technical options
The conditioning activity includes the operations that produce a waste package suitable for
handling, transport, storage and/or disposal. Conditioning may include the conversion of
the waste to a solid waste form (immobilization), enclosure of the waste in containers, and,
if necessary, providing an over-pack (IAEA 2003 a). The produced waste form must be
structurally stable to ensure that the waste does not degrade and/or promote slumping,
collapse or other failure. Chemical and physical immobilizations provide the required
structural stability and minimize the contaminant migration. Immobilization techniques

Radioactive Waste

10
consist of entrapping the contaminant within a solid matrix i.e. cement, cement-based
material, bitumen, glass, or ceramic (R.O. Abdel Rahman et al. 2007 a).
Cementation of radioactive waste has been practiced for many years basically for
immobilization of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The majority of
cementation techniques rely on using Portland Cement as the primary binder. Other binders
might be used to improve either the mechanical performance of the final waste matrix or to
improve the retention of radionuclides in that matrix, these include fly ash, blast furnace
slag, bentonite, zeolite and other materials (R.O. Abdel Rahman & A.A. Zaki 2009 a). The
implementation of this technique worldwide is supported by its compatibility with aqueous
waste streams, capability of activated several chemical and physical immobilization
mechanisms for a wide range of inorganic waste species. Also, cement immobilization
possesses good mechanical characteristics, radiation and thermal stability, simple
operational conditions, availability, and low cost (R.O. Abdel Rahman et al. 2007 a).
Bituminisation is applied to immobilize the secondary wastes resulting from the treatment
of low and intermediate level liquid effluents of very low heat generation (< 40 TBq/m
3
).
The bituminized product has a very low permeability and solubility in water and is
compatible with most environmental conditions (IAEA 1998). This kind of immobilization
media is restricted for wastes that contain strongly oxidizing components, e.g. nitrates,
biodegradable materials and soluble salts. A special care should be given to this waste form
during its storage owing to its flammability.
Vitrification is one of the important immobilization techniques which relays on the
utilization of glass as immobilizing media, because of the small volume of the resulting
waste-form, its high durability and stability in corrosive environments. To ensure the high
durability of the produced matrix, the vitrification process should be conducted under very
high processing temperatures (>1500 C), which impose limitations on the immobilized
radionuclides and increase the amount of generated secondary wastes. As a result, the most
common glasses used in vitrification of nuclear waste are borosilicates and phosphates
which use lower processing temperatures (1000 C) while still forming a durable product
(M.I. Ojovan & W.E.Lee 2005).
The above-mentioned immobilization technologies are available commercially and have
been demonstrated to be viable. The highest degree of volume reduction and safety is
achieved through vitrification although this is the most complex and expensive method
requiring a relatively high initial capital investment. The potential of using new
immobilization matrices were emerged to deal with difficult legacy waste streams. These
matrices include crystalline (mineral-like) and composite radionuclide immobilization
matrices as well as using thermochemical and in situ immobilization techniques (M.I.
Ojovan & W.E.Lee 2005).
4.4 Transport of radioactive wastes
The transport of radioactive wastes includes three stage namely; preparation, transfer and
emplacement (IAEA 1994 b). The safety of the transport processes could be provided
through meeting the provisions of transport regulations, which aim to protect persons,
property and the environment from the effects of radiation during the transport of these

Planning and Implementation of Radioactive Waste Management System

11
materials. Transport regulations include requirements on the waste package that ensure its
survival under accident conditions. Depending on importance of the shipped wastes from
security, safeguards, and safety point of views, the risk assessment of the transport process
might include the following (IAEA 2003 b):
1. Shipment information,
2. Radiological, physical, an chemical characteristics of the waste,
3. Physical characteristics of the package and conveyance,
4. Exposure parameters for the transport workers,
5. Routing data and population characteristics,
6. Frequency and severity of accident for a given transport mode, and
7. Estimation of doses to public
4.5 Storage technical options
Long-term management of spent fuel is becoming of increasing concern, since few decisions
are now available with regard to the implementation of their final disposal. This might be
attributed to the public perception towards the final disposal of spent fuel and/or the need
to gain better insights into the long-term performance of spent fuel and materials. This class
of radioactive wastes is currently stored in different storage types. These include, nuclear
power plant pools, wet and dry storage facilities. Figure 2 illustrates the capacity and
inventories of different types of spent fuel storage (IAEA 2002).

Fig. 2. Comparison of capacities and inventories of different types of spent fuel storage
(IAEA 2002)
Interim storage of radioactive waste packages is not only required if the disposal facility is
not available but also for wastes those include very short lived radionuclides. The design
and operation of storage facilities must comply with the basic safety principles set up on
both the national and international scale. To assess the compliance of the storage facility, a
licensing process including safety and environmental impact assessments must be part of
the waste management system. The main functions of a storage facility for conditioned

Radioactive Waste

12
radioactive waste are to provide safe custody of the waste packages and to protect both
operators and the general public from any radiological hazards associated with radioactive
wastes. The design of storage facilities should be capable of (IAEA 1998)
1. Maintain the as-received integrity of the waste package,
2. Protect the waste from environmental conditions that could degrade it,
3. Keep the external dose rate and contamination limits for waste packages to be accepted
by the facility,
4. Minimize the radiation exposure to on-site personnel,
5. Allow control of any contamination from gaseous or liquid releases.
The storage facility may be associated with an area for inspection (including sorting and/or
non-destructive examination), certification and labeling of waste packages. The storage
facility is usually divided into areas where low contact dose rate packages are stored, areas
where packages not meeting waste acceptance criteria (WAC) are stored, and a shielded
area where high contact dose rate packages are kept secure (IAEA 1998). The design of the
facility usually permits package stacking, sorting and visual inspection. Provision for
maintaining a database keeping chain-of-custody for each waste package in storage must be
included in the design. Key information about the waste package should include the total
radionuclide content, the waste matrix used for immobilization, the treatment and/or
conditioning method (as applicable), and the unique package designator. A hard copy file
should follow the waste package from conditioning to its final disposal (IAEA 2001 b).
4.6 Disposal technical options
Disposal is the last step in the integrated radioactive waste management, it relay on the
passive safety concept. The disposal facility includes waste emplacement area, buildings
and services for waste receipt. Its design aims to provide isolation of the disposed waste for
appropriate period of time taking into account the waste and site characteristics and the
safety requirements (Bozkurt 2001, R.O. Abdel Rahman et. al 2005 a, b). To achieve this aim,
the multi-barrier concept that relays on using engineered barriers to augment natural
barriers has been developed. The use of engineered barriers helps in ensuring that
increasingly stringent design aims are satisfied to an appropriate level (IAEA 1997). This
concept helps in avoiding over-reliance on the natural barriers to provide the necessary
safety (IAEA 1992 a, 1993 a).
Engineered barriers may consist of a number of separate components, including structural
walls, buffer or backfill materials, chemical additives, liners, covers, leachate collection and
drainage systems, cut-off walls, gas vents and monitoring wells (IAEA 1992 b). The design
criteria for each barrier will differ according to the waste class and disposal type, IAEA have
define the main function for the engineering barriers in a near surface disposal type. Those
functions are listed in Table 3 (IAEA 2001 c).
Disposal facilities could be place in geological formation or near surface. Near-surface
disposal includes two main types of disposal systems: shallow facilities located either above
or below the ground surface; and underground facilities, usually in rock cavities. Geological
disposal refers to disposal at greater depths, typically several hundreds of meters below
ground (R.O. Abdel Rahman et. al 2012). Table 4 lists a summary for underground disposal
practices.

Planning and Implementation of Radioactive Waste Management System

13

Barrier Function
Container Mechanical strength, Limit water ingress, Retain radionuclides
Waste form Mechanical strength, Limit water ingress, Retain radionuclides
Backfill
Void filling, Limit water infiltration, Radionuclide sorption
Gas control
Structural materials Physical stability containment barrier
Cover
Limit water infiltration, Control of gas release, Erosion barrier
Intrusion barrier
Table 3. Function of each engineered barrier.

Place Depth (m) Type of reservoir
Czechoslovakia
Hostim 30 Limestone mine
Richard 70-80 Limestone mine waste
Bratrstvi -- Uranium mine
Germany,
Asse 725-750 Salt mine
Morsleben 400-600 Potash and salt mine
Swedish Final Repository 50 below Baltic Sea Metamorphic bedrock
Finland
Olkiluoto 60-100 Crystalline bedrock
Loviisa 70-100 --------
USA WIPP 655 Rock salt formation
Table 4. Summary of some underground disposal
The optimization of the disposal is done by conducting safety assessment studies. These
studies are complex due to the dynamic nature of the hydrological and biological
subsystems in the host environment that affects the degradation scenarios of the disposal
facility. So treating the disposal as one system is not possible, instead these subsystems are
decoupled and divided into modules for which the evolution of the disposal is
distinguished into step changes rather than continuous time change [NCRP 2005].
Generally, safety assessment relays on specifying assessment context, describing the
disposal system, developing and justifying evolution scenarios, formulating and
implementing of models; and finally analyzing the assessment results for each module.
During the development of safety assessment, all confidence building tools should be
utilized and illustrated (R.O. Abdel Rahman et. al 2011 c).
4.7 Safety of radioactive waste management.
IAEA recommended that assessment studies have to be developed and well adapted to
situations of concern to ensure the protection of human health and the environment (IAEA
1993 b). To apply this recommendation, an initial assessment of the planned waste

Radioactive Waste

14
management practice needs to be performed that identifies the radiological sources, foresees
potential exposures, estimates relevant doses and probabilities, and identifies the required
radiological protection measures. Various methodologies with varying complexity have
been and are being developed to assist in the evaluation of radiological impact of nuclear
and radioactive facilities. Despite there are differences in the details of these methodologies
to correspond to each facility, the general objective of any radiological assessment is to
determine the impact of radioactive material on individuals and their environment
(R.O. Abdel Rahman 2010). In 2002, IAEA published procedure for conducting probabilistic
safety assessment for non-reactor nuclear facilities (IAEA 2002 b). This procedure is consist
six interlinked steps, which include
1. Management and organization,
2. Identification of source of radioactive releases, exposure and accident initiator,
3. Scenario modeling,
4. Sequence quantification,
5. Documentation of the analysis and interpretation of the results, and
6. Quality assurance.
The identification of the source and exposure is done through the consideration of source-
pathway- receptor analysis at which different aspects are identified i.e. how radio-
contaminants released from the studied facility, the pathways along which they can migrate,
and their impacts on human. In developing such analysis, it is important to understand that
radio-contaminants are transported by air, soil or water through advective or diffusive
processes and that the principal means of human exposure is by direct radiation exposure,
inhalation of gases or particulates, and ingestion of contaminated food or water (R.O. Abdel
Rahman 2010).
To quantify the sequence of the release there is a need to model the release scenario, this
could be performed through the development of conceptual model, mathematical model
selection, and development or selection of numerical tools. Generally, a conceptual model
describes with words and diagrams the key processes that occur within the studied system
(or have a reasonable likelihood of occurring). These models can be formulated at varying
levels of complexity and realism to abstract the reality (Environment Agency 1999). The
developed conceptual model forms the basis for the selection of mathematical models,
which in turn govern the selection and creation of numerical models and computer codes
(R.O. Abdel Rahman et. al 2009b).
The planning, development and application of quality assurance program for the safety
assessment of the radioactive waste management facilities begin with the identification of
quality policy then it associates each step in the assessment. Different quality assurance
activities should be performed that include sample control, quality assurance for the
documentation. In the scenario modeling step, the range, accuracy and precision of
equipment used for input data collection must be verified. The personnel should be suitably
trained and qualified to perform the data collection step in accordance with standards. Also
the utilized computer software must be verified, validated and documented. Computer
software must be placed under configuration control as each baseline element is approved
and released. Changes to computer software must be systematically evaluated, co-ordinated

Planning and Implementation of Radioactive Waste Management System

15
and approved to assure that the impact of a change is carefully assessed before updating the
baseline (USDOE 2003).
4.8 Waste acceptance criteria and quality assurance programs
The waste acceptance is defined as "Quantitative or qualitative criteria specified by the
regulatory body or by waste operator and approved by the regulatory body, for radioactive
waste to be accepted in a waste management facility "(IAEA 2003). The development of the
waste acceptance criteria is carried out in parallel with the development of the waste
management facility and is derived from both safety and operational requirements. The
compliance with these criteria includes two stages; the first is the definition of the waste
characteristics and identification of quality related parameters. This stage is developed by
using the results of the safety assessment studies and the operational experience. The second
stage is the confirmation of the conformance of the individual waste packages to the WAC,
this stage could be checked directly or indirectly by using data sheets that includes
information about the preceding waste producer, the waste type, activity, source,
description, and radiological characteristics and package identifier number and type if any.
The dose and heat rate, surface contamination and the weight are also important parameters
that are widely used to confirm conformance with WAC (IAEA 1996). Assurance that a
waste package can meet WAC could be provided if the development and design of the
management process is carried out under a Quality Assurance Program (QAP).
Inadequate procedure specification and verification of required actions in the selection,
design, construction, and operation of individual facilities and processes through the waste
management system may lead to a failure in the achievement of waste management goals.
The application of a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) to all waste management activities
including treatment, conditioning, storage, transport, and disposal is intended to ensure the
achievement of the waste management objectives. Within the QAP, there is a need to
establish a quality control program that intended to ensure the compliance of the products
from the waste management facility with the WAC at the preceding waste management
facility and/or meet the regulatory requirements for discharge, transport, condition, store,
and or dispose this waste product (R.O. Abdel Rahman 2009 c, 2007 b). The elements of this
program are similar to any other program in non-radioactive industry. It includes:
organization and responsibilities planning and implementation, personnel training and
qualification, existence of procedures and instructions, document control, research and
development, procurement, process control, inspection and testing, non-conformance and
corrective actions, records, management review and audit.
5. Acknowledgment
The author would like to acknowledge her appreciation to Dr M.I. Ojovan, professor at
Imperial Colege London, for the time and effort that he spent to review this chapter.
6. References
Abdel Rahman R.O., A.M. El Kamash, A.A. Zaki, M.R..El Sourougy, (2005 a) Disposal: A
Last Step Towards an Integrated Waste Management System in Egypt,

Radioactive Waste

16
International Conference on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Disposal, Tokyo,
Japan,, IAEA-CN-135/81, p.p. 317-324
Abdel Rahman, R.O., El-Kamash, A.M, Zaki, A.A., & Abdel-Raouf, M.W. (2005 b). Planning
closure safety assessment for the egyptian near surface disposal facility, Presented
at the International Conference on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Disposal (pp.
317324), Tokyo, Japan, IAEA-CN- 135/81
Abdel Rahman R. O., A. A. Zaki, A. M. El-Kamash, (2007 a), Modeling the long-term
leaching behavior of (137)Cs, (60)Co, and (152,154) Eu radionuclides from cement-
clay matrices, J. Hazard Mater., 145(3) p.p.372-380
Abdel Rahman R. O., A. M. El-Kamash, F. A. Shehata, M. R. El-Sourougy, (2007 b) Planning
for a solid waste management quality assurance program in Egypt, Qual. Assur J.
11(1) p.p. 53-59
Abdel Rahman R.O., A. A. Zaki, (2009 a), Assessment of the leaching characteristics of
incineration ashes in cement matrix, Chem. Eng. J. ,155, p.p. 698-708
Abdel Rahman R. O., (2009 c), Design a quality control system for radioactive aqueous waste
treatment facility, Qual. Assur J; 12(1)p.p. 31-39
Abdel Rahman R. O., A.M. El Kamash, H. F. Ali, Yung-Tse Hung, (2011 b) Overview on
Recent Trends and Developments in Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Part 1:
Sorption/Ion Exchange Technique, Int. J. Environ. Eng. Sci., 2 (1), PP. 1-16
Abdel Rahman R. O., H. A. Ibrahium, Yung-Tse Hung, (2011 a), Liquid radioactive wastes
treatment: A Review , Water, 3, P.P.551-565
Abdel Rahman R.O., (2010), Preliminary assessment of continuous atmospheric discharge
from the low active waste incinerator, Int. J. Environ. Sci, 1, No 2, p.p.111-122.
Abdel Rahman R.O., A.A. Zaki (2011 c), Comparative study of leaching conceptual models:
Cs leaching from different ILW cement based matrices, Chem. Eng. J., 173 (2011)
p.p. 722 736.
Abdel Rahman R.O., H. A. Ibrahim, N. M. Abdel Monem, (2009 b), Long-term performance
of zeolite Na A-X blend as backfill material in near surface disposal vault. Chem.
Eng. J. , 149, 143-152
Abdel Rahman R.O., M. W. Kozak, Yung-Tse Hung, (2012), Radioactive pollution and
control, in accepted for publication Handbook of Environmental and Waste
Management, Vol 2, Land and Groundwater Pollution Control, chapter 16 World
Scientific Publishing Co, Singapore.
Bozkurt, S., Sifvert, M., Moreno, L., & Neretnieks, I. (2001). The long-term evolution of and
transport processes in a self-sustained final cover on waste deposits, The Science of
the Total Environment, 271, 145168.
Defra, DTI and the Devolved Administrations, (2007), Policy for the long term management
of solid low level radioactive waste in the United Kingdom, Department for
environment food and rural affairs.
Department of minerals and energy, (2005), Radioactive waste management policy and
strategy for the republic of South Africa, Department of minerals and energy.
Environment Agency, (1999), Guide to Practice for the Development of Conceptual Models
and Selection and Application of Mathematical Models of Contaminant Transport
Processes in the Subsurface, National Groundwater and Contaminated Land
Center Report NC/99/38/2, 1999

Planning and Implementation of Radioactive Waste Management System

17
IAEA, (1992 a), Review of available options for Low level radioactive waste disposal, iaea-
tecdoc-661, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (1992 b), Performance of engineered Barriers in deep geological repositories,
Technical Reports Series no. 342, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (1993), Report on radioactive waste Disposal, Technical Reports Series no. 349,
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (1993), Use of Probabilistic Safety Assessment for Nuclear Installations with Large
Inventory of Radioactive Material, TecDoc-711, International Atomic Energy
Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (1994 a), Advances in Technologies for the Treatment of Low and Intermediate Level
Radioactive Liquid Wastes, Technical Reports Series No. 370, International Atomic
Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (1994 b), Interfaces between transport and geological disposal systems for high level
radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel TecDoc-764, International Atomic Energy
Agency, Vienna
IAEA, (1995), The Principles of Radioactive Waste Management. Safety Series No. 111-F,
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (1996), Requirements and methods for low and intermediate level waste package
acceptability, TecDoc-8 64 International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (1997), Planning and operation of low level waste disposal facilities (proc. Symp.
Vienna, 1996), International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (1998), Interim Storage of Radioactive Waste Packages, Technical Reports Series No.
390, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (1999), Review of the factors affecting the selection and implementation of waste
management technologies, TecDoc-1096, International Atomic Energy Agency,
Vienna.
IAEA, (2000 a), Regulatory control of radioactive discharges to the environment, IAEA
Safety Series Guide No. WS-G-2.3, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna
IAEA, (2000 b), Legal and Governmental Infrastructure for Nuclear, Radiation, Radioactive
Waste and Transport Safety Requirements, Safety standard series, No. GS-R-1,
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (2001 a), Methods for the minimization of radioactive waste from decontamination
and decommissioning of nuclear facilities, TRS 401, International Atomic Energy
Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (2001 b), Waste inventory record keeping systems (WIRKS) for the management and
disposal of radioactive waste, TecDoc-1222 International Atomic Energy Agency,
Vienna.
IAEA, (2001 c), Performance of engineered barrier materials in near surface disposal
facilities for radioactive waste, TecDoc-1255, International Atomic Energy Agency,
Vienna.
IAEA, (2002 a), Long term storage of spent nuclear fuel Survey and recommendations
Final report of a co-ordinated research project 19941997, TecDoc-1293,
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (2002 b), Procedures for conducting probabilistic safety assessment TecDoc-1267 ,
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna

Radioactive Waste

18
IAEA, (2003 a), Radioactive waste management glossary, 2003 edition, International Atomic
Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (2003 b) Input data for quantifying risks associated with the transport of radioactive
material Final report of a co-ordinated research project 19962000, TecDoc-1346,
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (2007), Considerations for waste minimization at the design stage of nuclear facilities,
TRS, No 460, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
IAEA, (2009), Policies and strategies for radioactive waste management, Nuclear energy
series NW-G-1.1 International Atomic Energy Agency ,Vienna,
IAEA, (2010) Setting authorized limits for radioactive discharge: practical issues to consider,
TecDoc-1638, International Atomic Energy Agency ,Vienna
NCRP, (2005), Performance assessment of near-surface facilities for disposal of low level
radioactive waste, NCRP Report No. 152, National Council on Radiation Protection
and Measurements.
NEA, (2003), The regulators evolving role and image in radioactive waste management
lessons learnt within the NEA forum on stakeholder confidence, NEA ISBN 92-64-
02142-6
NEA, (2005), The regulatory functions and radioactive waste management international
overview, NEA No.6041 , ISBN 92-64-01075-0
NEA, (2011), Strategic plan 2011-2016 for the radioactive waste management committee ,
NEA/RWM(2011)12
Norrby S., S. Wingefors, 1995, formulation of regulatory and licensing requirements, IAEA-
TecDoc-853 requirements for the safe management of radioactive waste, p.p.281-
286
Ojovan M.I., W.E. Lee, (2005), Introduction to nuclear waste immobilization, Elsevier
Stoiber C, Baer A., Pelzer N., Tonhauser W., (2003), Handbook on nuclear law, International
Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna
M.I. Ojovan (Editor) (2011). Handbook of advanced radioactive waste conditioning
technologies. ISBN 1 84569 626 3. Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy No. 12,
Oxford, 512 p. http://www.woodheadpublishing.com/6269
The three dictionary http://www.thefreedictionary.com/policy
USDOE, (2003), Carlsbad field office quality assurance program document, DOE/CBFO-94-
1012 revision 5 2003, United State Department of Energy.
2
A Controversial Management Process:
From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as
Radioactive Waste The Case of France
Philippe Brunet
Universit dEvry, Evry
Centre Pierre Naville
France
1. Introduction
The analysis of environmental issues inevitably requires the contribution of an array of
scientific disciplines. The experimental sciences, whose goal is the knowledge of natural
phenomena, cannot aspire, alone, to resolve the problems raised by interactions between
human societies and nature. Nor can the social sciences claim any monopoly thereto. This is
particularly true of our industrial societies, which ceaselessly produce what Ulrich Beck
calls latent induced effects (1986) which engender long term environmental and health
hazards. Their understanding is always belated. It is very often achieved by expertise in
experimental sciences, intersecting with the wisdom of common sense, social mobilisations,
and the weight of prevailing social norms (Wynne, 1997). Their extent and lastingness
accordingly result from the combination of two factors, one being determined by the other.
One factor include the limits, at any time, to the knowledge and predictions that they make
possible, in terms of the future trend of a given industrial process ; other factor, the social
relationships of production and reproduction whereby this industrial process is
implemented by relying on the prior art, but also on prevalent beliefs and ideologies.
These social relationships also produce social values and norms. Under the impact of the
rapport between capital and labour, they sustain the subdivisions inherent in any process of
industrial production and in its organisation between experts and laymen, producers and
consumers, particularly via legitimating arguments (Braverman, 1975). The sociological
analysis of environmental issues requires an understanding of the dynamic of these social
relationships through the examination of their tensions and conflicts which, very often, are
crystallised in these dialectical forms. It must be considered as complementary to the
analysis of the nature sciences, without one ever substituting for the other. It is in this
perspective that we propose to analyse the production process of the uranium industry, a
vital link in the production of nuclear energy. We shall focus particularly on its remnants.
We shall show that the qualification of radioactive waste which henceforth attaches to them
results from practices of the players within changing configurations, to varying degrees
conflictual. The challenge concerns the hegemony of legitimacy to say and to do with regard

Radioactive Waste

20
to their management. This perspective accordingly implies carrying out a long range
analysis to grasp their evolution.
This chapter is divided into two parts. The first describes the emergence of the problematics,
in which science, technology, politics and standards are combined in a scheme of specific
production relationships. It dwells on the early decades of the atomic complex, to grasp its
various structural components and, ultimately, to understand the function of the radioactive
waste qualification process. The second part expands the analysis of this mechanism over
the long term, based on the case of France. The focus is then directed at the least known
productive segment of the nuclear complex, the uranium mining industry, and on its
repercussions in terms of waste.
2. Science, politics and standards concerned with radioactive waste:
A new horizon
By virtue of its history, and its underlying scientific knowledge and techniques, the atomic
industry, later called the nuclear industry, is linked with the state of war. This is why no
doubt more than any other, this industry has been ambivalent since its inception. It is
oriented towards destruction as well as production (Naville, 1977). This attribute is
especially pronounced as the structure becomes recursive. Indeed, the earliest large atomic
facilities that went on stream in the USA, the USSR, Great Britain and France, were plants
simultaneously generating plutonium and electricity for military and civilian uses (Barillot
and Davis, 1994). Similarly, the environmental and health hazards associated with the
concept of energy generation were precisely the arguments, amply demonstrated in
practice, of its capacity to destroy at a hitherto unsuspected scale. This finding became the
background for the many descriptions, popularisations and justifications of the new
industry (Ducrocq, 1948; Martin, 1956; Goldschmidt, 1962), giving rise to many
consequences that we shall examine in turn, and globally. First, the control of this industry
was directly assumed by the States and associations thereof, in peacetime and wartime alike.
Second, its technological and strategic sophistication generated an intensive and tight
interpenetration of different professional worlds: scientific, military, industrial and political.
This tense closed world reflected the elitist, in other words, non-democratic, relationship
that became established for decisions pertaining to this industry. And finally, its
ambivalence marked an associated process: the qualification of radioactive waste. The
narrow perimeter in which it was long contained caused the slowness of its development,
and also, in exchange, the deep democratic penetration that it received.
2.1 The atomic and nuclear industry: A matter for States at the planetary scale
After the Second World War, the atomic industry developed essentially in obedience to
geostrategic and military objectives. A differentiation set in between States according to
whether or not they possessed the atomic weapon and its uranium fuel. This cleavage was
not exclusively of a technical or economic nature. It was also political, and had two
outcomes. States owning atomic weapons sought to hamper the access of other candidate
states to the possession of the industrial process. It hence ordered and crystallised the global
ranking of the military powers. This situation still prevails today. For example, the sanctions
imposed against Iran since 2006 by the UN Security Council, claimed justification in the fact
A Controversial Management Process: From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France

21
that these countries had tried or were trying to possess a military nuclear industry (IAEA,
2006). It also fostered a policy of secrecy which was gradually relaxed to facilitate civilian
industrial applications.
This unprecedented situation betokened a new relationship between science, industry and
politics, with an implication of international controls. The sharing of the world in fact
established new geostrategic relations between East and West. Its equilibrium depended on
the resources available to each camp to develop the industrial process. Before the war, the
Belgian mines of Upper Katanga enjoyed a monopoly of radium production. The
importance gained by uranium as a fuel then encouraged the USA to control its production.
Despite the discoveries in Canada and Czechoslovakia, uranium was held to be a rare ore
(Ducrocq, 1948). Thus, wishing to maintain a lead, which it wrongly believed to be
significant in terms of the technology and the uranium raw material, the USA tried to
impose its point of view, which only Great Britain and Canada accepted. Faced with the
refusal of the USSR, which controlled Czech uranium, the USA decided to maintain its lead
by practising a policy of secrecy (Goldschmidt, 1962). Indeed, in late July 1946, a law was
passed organising and governing atomic energy in the USA (the MacMahon Bill). All the
problems of atomic energy, from ore to nuclear fuel, plants included, fell under its authority.
Secrecy was maintained, and its violation decreed a capital crime. Finally, the new Bill
enshrined isolationism: collaboration with other countries was subject to Congressional
approval. This is why from 1946 to July 1954, when the law was first relaxed, even
collaboration with English speaking countries was suspended (Goldschmidt, 1962). This
policy of secrecy became the international norm. In September 1949, the Russians showed
the American that they no longer held exclusive sway. The battle for power and
technological sophistication was then joined on a new project based on the thermonuclear
reaction, leading to the hydrogen bomb, a thousand times more powerful than the A bomb.
At the same time, in 1952, Great Britain broke into the closed club of the atomic countries,
followed by France in 1960. This policy of secrecy contained its contradictions. Thus, from
the 1950s, the US proposed the Baruch plan to the United Nations (Goldschmidt, 1987). It
offered to relinquish atomic secrecy provided that an international agency took charge of the
ownership of the uranium mines, atomic materials, and the running of fuel production
plants and power reactors. The USSR was opposed and demanded that the USA destroy its
arsenal and terminate the arms race. The American proposal was doomed to failure.
Certainly, it foreshadowed the various UN regulatory agencies that were progressively set
up in the atomic field. This necessity stemmed from the ambivalence of its industry. In
terms of destruction, the UN Security Council contained the five foremost historic atomic
powers as permanent members
1
. They therefore monitored the balance of global forces
under the sign of secrecy and mutual mistrust. In terms of production, civilian industrial
development could not durably be a subject issue. This conflict was partly resolved at the
first international conference in Geneva in 1955, Atoms for Peace. The disparateness of its
participants and the scheduling of its deliberations (first, states and after Scientists) were
symptomatic of its social intricacy and hierarchy, which promoted the existence of the
industry, born in the USA in 1943.

1
The list of five permanent members was approved in 1946, long before they became atomic powers.
However, the correlation is striking, and the sign of a suite in the state power ranking.

Radioactive Waste

22
2.2 The atomic and nuclear industry, a heterogeneous and closed visage
Its starting point was the Manhattan Project. This project was its parent-formula. It associated
four different types of social actors, not without some tension: State (for political decisions),
Industry (the Du Pont company engineers for the practical organisation of the industrial
process at Oak Ridge, Tennessee), Scientists (for their investigations), and the Military (for
their responsibility in management and control) (Ndiaye, 1998). Subsequent industrial
developments, each inserted into their specific national frameworks, were differentiated
from this initial wartime model. But, with it, they shared the principle of ambivalence
between destruction and production, of the disparateness of the social actors, and finally,
the closure of this new productive world sustained by the policy of secrecy. The French
model was no exception.
Certainly, for no science other than nuclear physics, was the era of its fundamental and
theoretical questions and that of its practical applications so intermingled, jump-starting the
production of destructive bombs. This unprecedented situation was marked by
contradictions and internal tensions, particularly the ambiguous attitudes of the scientists
(Martin, 1956). In August 1939, Einstein sent a letter, co-signed by other physicists, to US
President Roosevelt, to alert him to the risk of some day finding Nazi Germany in
possession of the atom bomb. He decided to move swiftly. This act triggered a process of
decisions culminating in the Manhattan Project in 1942, in other words, the production of the
bomb. It is estimated that 75 000 to 150 000 people were mobilised, particularly in the Oak
Ridge plant, until the explosion of the first bomb in New Mexico (Goldschmidt, 1962;
NDiaye, 1998). The scientists, with the army and the industry, were joined under the aegis
of the political authority. This created some ambiguity in the attitudes of the scientists in
three respects. On the one hand, while nothing in the atomic field could be done without
them, its future was beyond their control. On the other, the practical and ideological
underpinnings of their professional integrity were denied. This applied to unrestricted
access to information and its exchange in the name of priority over the policy of secrecy, and
disinterestedness in the name of limited commitment. They tried morally to resolve this
contradictory positioning in many ways: through justification, through guilt, or even by
engaging in peace movements like Pugwash and the Stockholm Appeal (Oppenheimer, 1955;
Joliot-Curie, 1963; Einstein, 1979).
Similarly, the first international conference in Geneva in 1955, Atoms for Peace, which
brought together seventy-two countries, tried to resolve the internal contradiction of the
atomic complex internationally. It partly relaxed the policy of secrecy and thereby met the
desires of the scientists. It made possible the recursiveness of destruction towards
production. It timidly addressed the latent induced effects of radioactivity on human health.
Its deliberations nevertheless reflected the ambivalence of the atomic complex and the
ranking of its players. First, the governments of the atomic countries (USA, Great Britain,
USSR and France) held a week-long meeting in July; followed by the scientists and
industrialists for twelve days on the civilian applications of the atom. No other social or
associative force was invited to the discussion table, confining the issues exclusively in the
hands of the experts and political decision makers.
These ingredients of the atomic complex could be found in the French formula, delayed and
with specific characteristics. In October 1945, Commissariat lEnergie Atomique (CEA) was
A Controversial Management Process: From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France

23
created under the unchallenged authority of Frdric Joliot-Curie
2
. Its programme was that
of atomic science and its civilian applications. The problem of fuel remained to be solved.
The CEA had a limited stock of heavy water and uranium in a context of a uranium
embargo. France accordingly launched a prospecting programme:
Dig everywhere without second thoughts. Have no qualms about your prospecting
methods. Besides, if I could, I would send out 2000 prospectors throughout France!
They would systematically scour the soil with a Geiger counter, from the Pas-de-Calais
to the Pyrenees! Not a single clue of uranium could elude me!
This was Joliot-Curies exhortation to the first class of uranium prospectors trained from
December 1945 (Paucard, 1994). Until 1950, when Joliot-Curie was dismissed for political
and geostrategic reasons, and even beyond, scientists resisted government pressures
concerning the assigned objectives. The challenge was the atom bomb and the military
presence in the CEA. But, progressively, through the Fifties, the CEA industrialised,
militarised and finally escaped the control of the scientists, now more relevant to the initial
model promoted by the U.S. So, By government decree in 1951, the CEA was led by a
director and no longer by a scientist. In 1955, the government created the consultative
commission for the Production of Energy of Nuclear Origin (PEON commission). It is
reporting to the government and tasked with supplying justified opinions on decisions to be
taken. Also, the government named a military man to direct the CEAs general design office:
in 1958 this office became the CEAs Directorate of Military Applications (DAM), charged
with setting up Frances nuclear weapons programme. After much procrastination, the
French government decided to build the atom bomb. The return of General De Gaulle to
power in 1958 accelerated the process. Symptomatically, the CEAs director general, P.
Guillaumat, was appointed minister of the Armed Forces by de Gaulle in his new
Government. Two years later, in 1960, France exploded a bomb in the Algerian Sahara for
the first time. In doing so, it joined the club of the four world nuclear powers. It thus marked
a crucial step of its scientific, technological and geostrategic history in its quest for
international radiance (Hecht, 1997).
2.3 The atomic and nuclear industry: Qualifying waste and measuring risks
The concerns that initiated the radioactive waste qualification process were present from
the outset of the atomic complex, in forms both extensive and unstable. However, they fit
into a matrix in which the development of atomic weapons and the corresponding secrecy
policies predominated
3
. They were directed towards radioactive materials in use as well as
those already used and non-reusable, insofar as they all incurred health hazards. The
scientists, engineers and experts, associated with nuclear facilities, investigated and
controlled this qualification process. They set up a system of standards and practices to
which the governments adhered. Over the long term, this framework stiffened in a context
of pressures. This was because a shift in the reference threshold of health and environmental
hazards was observed, correlated with a deep public sensitivity, organised or not. In this

2
He was Nobel co-laureate in 1935 with his wife, Irne, for the discovery of artificial radioactivity.
During the German Occupation, F. Joliot-Curie secretly joined the Communist party.
3
An example, among many others, is the circulation of books aimed at the public for protection against
the atomic radiation from a bomb. They were generally written by the military. (Gibrin, 1953)

Radioactive Waste

24
respect, the radioactive waste qualification process was characterised by a democratic
penetration that affected the entire nuclear complex.
Without any doubt, the starting point of this process was located in a twofold prolongation.
One was the international meetings between experts of the new industry, which became
institutionalised, either under the UN or in the form of inter-State treaties in the Fifties
(Goldschmidt, 1987)
4
. The aim was to standardize practices to conform to the development
of peaceful applications of nuclear energy. It was also a symptom of the public response. In
fact, the weight of the military industry and its meshing with the civilian industry limited
the quality of available knowledge, the social relationship to this knowledge, and the
transparency of the information (Barillot and Davis, 1994). Let us examine these various
aspects through three examples in France.
The multiplication of thermonuclear bomb tests came under strong criticism from some of
the atomic scientists, who mobilised internationally. Soil contamination by radioactive
fallout was condemned with the health hazards associated with the food chain. For
example, Linus Pauling, Nobel laureate, in an international conference of conscientious
objectors in Germany in June 1959, declared:
The government leader who issues the order to explode an experimental atom bomb
must realise that it simultaneously condemns 15 000 children yet unborn to suffer
serious physical or spiritual handicaps and to have a painful and miserable existence
[press article in Echo du Centre, 2 July 1959].
This topic was a pressing concern in the Fifties in France. It was expressed in the political
and peaceful battles against atomic weapons. It also raised public awareness about the
problems raised by radioactivity. A split accordingly occurred between the good and bad
users of the atom, depending on whether they derived respectively from civilian or military
applications (Joliot-Curie, 1963). Public attention to the health risks engendered by
radioactivity was therefore structured differentially. Notwithstanding this, it forced the CEA
to install devices to record the radioactivity produced by this fallout across the country.
Another pressing topic was the dumping at sea of radioactive waste. This method, common
to the atomic countries, applied the principle of dilution (Quneudec, 1965). It was part of an
initial presumption of the growth of industrial capitalism. Natures power of absorption is
infinite (Beck, 1986). In October 1960, French press reports that the CEA is planning, in its
own words, an experiment to submerge 6 500 drums of low level radioactive waste in the
Mediterranean Sea [Echo du Centre, October 12, 1960]. In actual fact, from the onset of the
Fifties and in secret, the CEA was already implementing the dilution principle by dumping
waste into the rivers. The publicity shed on this project sparked a strong reaction from the
population concerned: elected officials as well as scientists, biologists and oceanographers in
particular, demanded that the Government shelve the experiment. The Minister for Atomic
Energy had to explain matters before the Parliament:

4
Without claiming to be complete, examples include UNSCEAR created in 1955 by the UN. Its role was
to assess the levels and the effects of exposure to radioactivity. The IAEA, created in 1957 by the UN
also, promoted the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. EURATOM, created in 1957 by Europe, was a body
that coordinated research programmes on nuclear energy and accompanied the growth of the civilian
nuclear industry.
A Controversial Management Process: From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France

25
We must therefore calm the fears of French opinion by making it understand that, in a
century of progress, its vague terrors are no more reasonable than those of our
ancestors upon the advent of the railway, of electricity, and of cars. It is a national duty,
because it conditions the development of atomic energy in France []. We, who are
most familiar with the details of the problem, who bear the responsibility, not only to
weigh the risks, for ourselves and for our children, with objectivity, but also to inform,
have this honour or liberating the men and women of France from their vague and
senseless fears, and of restoring their trust [Official Bulletin, Senate, session of 3
November 1960, p. 1435].
Finally, a challenge emerged in France, concerning the health detriment of the radioactivity
used in medicine. A teacher, J. Pignero, took the initiative. In 1962 he created the Association
against Radiological Hazard (ACDR) to react against the compulsory radiological
examinations for schoolchildren. Previously, in 1957, the reading of a popular science
magazine alerted him to the risks incurred by the children
5
. The association published a
bulletin, Le danger radiologique (Radiological hazard) and acted to defend the few teachers
who refused the imposition of these examinations on the children. In 1966, the ACDR was
converted to the APRI (Association for the Protection of Ionising Radiation) in order to
extend the associative battle to the civilian and military industry branches. This appears to
have been the first organised opposition to the nuclear industry in France (Prendiville,
1993).
These various forms of public engagement implied an extension and a dissemination of the
critical questionings on the subject of the risks of radioactivity, more or less independently
of the institutional experts. This extension revealed the instability in identifying the
threshold between the benefits and detriments, because science alone could not tell all (Beck,
1986). Thus, a normally positive health use of radioactivity (X-ray examinations) could be
challenged for its danger. Moreover, since the diversity of the uses was condensed into a
risk bearing aggregate, stretching from the military industry to medical practices, it was not
so much the problematics of waste that prevailed in these first challenges, as that of the
potential hazard of any radioactive material. It took root in particular in the detachment of
some of the scientists from the reassuring and faultless discourse of the atomic institution.
Yet its public range remained limited by the small audience of the associative movements
that relayed it on, apart from the more political movements focused on the rejection of the
bomb. This is why these criticisms did not truly destabilise or delegitimise the power to say
and to do of the players of the atomic complex, who generated most of the knowledge and
the justifications of this industry.
When the French government decided in 1975 to build a large nuclear power capability to
contend with the oil energy crisis, this situation had barely changed. The social criticism of
the atomic industry remained very discreet. It is true that the spectre of atomic war had
receded and that a political consensus had emerged in France in favour of possession of
nuclear weapons. As an emblem of this process, the French communist left, which long
argued against nuclear weapons, finally came round to the idea that its possession by France
was a guarantee of its independence. This caused a significant weakening of social
mobilisation. And it is without any real debate in the parliament that the decision of this

5
According to testimony obtained by letter dated 25 July 1999.

Radioactive Waste

26
new nuclear energy plan was taken, because in this case also, the political consensus existed
to legitimise the energy independence of France. And yet, it is at the meeting point of the
various criticisms that an anti-nuclear movement was taking structural shape in France,
with varying strength according to location. This movement was not only heterogeneous in
its composition, but also in its arguments and its highly diversified methods of combat.
Thus we find three types of critical (Brunet, 2004a; 2006b). First, critics levelled by scientists
who organise and popularise for the public the problems raised by the deployment of this
energy industry in France. This is the case of Group of Scientists for Information on Nuclear
Energy (GSIEN). This group was founded by scientists, particularly nuclear physicists, after
the appeal of the 400 published by the daily Le Monde in February 1975. A total of 400
scientists of the CNRS, the College du France and the universities were concerned about the
risks incurred by the French nuclear power programme and asked the population to reject
the installation of power plants as long as any doubts subsisted. They criticised the secrecy
surrounding the nuclear industry. GSIEN published a journal La Gazette du Nuclaire which
played a considerable role in checks and balances and hence in the democratic penetration
of the nuclear industry. This journal was circulated to a nascent antinuclear movement. In
this sense, GSIEN was the first independent associative expert. In second, the critics in
which the nuclear power programme is assimilated with the installation of a police state
ordering an overwhelming consumption disrespectful of nature. This type of critical, more
political, was essentially levelled by libertarian and ecological movements as an extension of
the criticism of capitalist production and consumption in 1968. Finally, we find the critical
type nimby
6
. It is truly from this period that the problematics of radioactive waste began
to take shape. The inquiry by a journalist among members of the PEON commission in this
period was symptomatic of this slow movement. To the question of waste? he received
the answer: It is not a current problem. The storage of these wastes today raises no
difficulties; they only occupy a few square metres. It will become a substantial problem in
the year 2000. (Simonnot, 1978). This issue was essentially centred on the production of
industrial facilities qualified as nuclear, in other words, their fuels and wastes and releases.
The uranium ore industry remained on the sidelines of this nascent problematics.
Accordingly, its associated remnants are difficult to recognise as radioactive waste. This is
precisely what we shall examine in the second part, covering the long term.
3. From the remnants of the uranium mining industry to the qualification of
radioactive waste
We have seen that for geostrategic reasons, the context of national reticence and secrecy
surrounding the development of the atomic industry internationally after the Second World
War compelled France to take steps to assert its independence. Evidence of this is the
creation of The CEA in 1945. And in setting up this new industry, uranium procurement
became the CEAs top priority. The first class of prospectors was operational in late 1945.
From the outset, an ever growing series of survey missions crisscrossed France, focusing on
granitic formations. Some were already known from radium mining. This is the case of
small deposits known before the war and located on the eastern margin of the Massif
Central. As to the remainder, prospecting missions were spread over a vast area forming a V

6
Nimby: the acronym means not in my backyard. It is intended to reflect a refusal by future residents,
not of this industry as a whole, but of observing the installation of a risky industrial facility nearby.
A Controversial Management Process: From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France

27
from Brittany to the Morvan and passing through the Massif Central. Others, like the
Limousin, were prospected for the first time. In this region, some twenty kilometres north of
the city of Limoges, the richest uranium shows in France and the most promising in terms of
quantity were discovered in late 1948 (Paucard, 1992). They allowed the industrial mining of
uranium ore and, from the late Fifties, chemical treatment to produce yellow cake. The
outcome was an industrial configuration which lasted half a century and caused an
upheaval in this small rural region, formerly dedicated to agriculture. Like any mining
industry, the production of uranium led to the buildup of overburden and tailings. Three
successive periods can be distinguished to understand how these tailings were transformed
into radioactive waste. They corresponded to different social configurations in which the
legitimacy of statement and action tended towards their qualification. Whereas the tailings
were treated routinely in the early period, and only raised questions in the second, the
analysis of the third period reveals a conflictual context, with growing, permanent, expert
and multifaceted vigilance with regard to their management as radioactive waste.
3.1 The good old days of uranium: The era of arrangements and convertible industrial
remnants
The first configuration, the good old days of uranium, lasted about twenty-five years, from
1949 to 1973. It reflected an industrial mining scheme in which the tailings were treated as
harmless. As for any mining practice at the time, they were either returned to the
environment, or were used for other purposes. The monopoly of knowledge and power over
them belonged to the CEA. It alone analysed, guided decisions and set the standards. The
knowledge of these tailings was therefore severely restricted by such practices, especially
since the mining industry was dissociated from the nuclear industry. Ultimately, risk is
intrinsic to mining activity. Only the environment is risk-free.
Because of its duration, this industrial configuration was a structuring factor. It displayed
many features. First, it was localised, limited to a few communes of the Monts dAmbazac.
Second, it was closed in on itself. The few kilometres distance from the city of Limoges were
a virtual barrier separating the rural and urban worlds. Their links were limited to
traditional trading between countryside and city. Besides, this small rural region was the
water reservoir of the city of Limoges
7
. This configuration was also dominated by the CEAs
mining division, made up of mining engineers and geologists. So, the job organisation of
mining production is doubly structured by a geological department, in charge of
prospecting, of measuring ore assays, and a mining department which extracts the ore. The
Mining Division corresponds to the company which, in addition to these two major
technical departments, contains an equipment maintenance and management department
and an administrative department. And a significant number of the mine workers were
former farmers or their offspring. Moreover, after the discoveries of large uranium deposits,
the CEA supplemented the ore mining process with on-site treatment in a plant built in 1957
in the commune of Bessines. For economic reasons relating to the low concentration of the
ore, the CEA quickly decided to concentrate the uranium ore chemically on-site. The
product obtained was a paste called yellow cake, which had a uranium content of about

7
Since the 19
th
Century, the City of Limoges has installed reservoirs in the form of ponds, for its water
supply.

Radioactive Waste

28
90%. This cake was then sent to plants in southern France to undergo final treatment to
fabricate nuclear fuel by purification and enrichment. Before the Bessines factory went on
stream, the CEA transported and processed the ore from Limoges in the Paris area, to the
Bouchet factory.
Between this industry and the population, a shared positive vision emerged of its
production within a set of arrangements. Uranium ore, an element of an acted nature,
became the new wealth of this area and the symbol of its revival. It became a positive
heritage. This situation did not discount the drawbacks engendered by the proximity of
the mine to the villages: collapses of cultivated land, wastewater dumping into the fields,
deafening noises and dust clouds from the mine sites. Yet formulated as such, they did not
bring into question the mining industry and its vocation for the inhabitants: as the driver of
local economic development. Depending on their characteristics, these drawbacks were
dealt with under individualised arrangements on an individual case basis, or collectively.
Thus, for example, the collective problem of access to water could be solved by its handling
by the mining division. Indeed, when the mining division was installed in the Fifties, a
collective water supply did not exist, and water was drawn from individual wells. Very
often, mining operations intersected the springs and dried up the wells. The mining division
then took charge of the collective water supply. In exchange, these arrangements served to
reinforce its domination over the area. Thus when the mediation of the mayors was required
to address collective drawbacks, the negotiations always took place in the office of the
director of the mining division, a venue that was deeply symbolic of the exercise of this
unchallenged domination.
As for the treatment of the remains from the industrial process, it was completely
unmarked. Two types of waste coexisted: overburden from ore extraction, and mill tailings
from chemical treatment. The first were the rock containing the ore, whose economic value
was below the assay. Considered as routine and harmless, they were used as backfill for
road building projects, or to plug a mine. Part of it was also used in individual
arrangements. The latter were present as soon as the Bessines factory became operational. In
the form of reddish wet sand, they represented an approximately equivalent mass to the
crushed ore. Indeed, in terms of mass, given the very low uranium concentration in the rock,
yellow cake represents an infinitesimal part of the total mass of ore treated, about 2 to 5 ppm
depending on each case. They were handled in two ways. The first was burial in the
excavations of the open pit mines. Thus like the overburden, they were returned to nature
without any further action. A second, in very small quantities and less frequent was
disseminated across the region for masonry. So, examples are not rare of individuals
residing on the mining zone who used these residues, some to make a floor slab for a home,
build a workshop, obviously unaware of the radioactive hazard associated with the very
high radon emanations released by the radioactivity remaining in these residues. This raised
no problem: the radioactive composition was considered close to zero because the chemical
treatment was supposed to extract all the uranium.
In actual fact, the only recognised risks were contained within the strict limits of the
production process. Exposure to these risks concerned the miners, especially the workers.
Some of these risks fell into the very broad class of mining operations: cave-ins, silica
inhalation. Others were classed as radioactive risks. From the mid-Fifties, a more
sophisticated vigilance, taken over by the CEA, was exercised over the work of the miners,
A Controversial Management Process: From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France

29
with the installation of mine aeration systems and radioactivity measurements, both
collective and individual. The chief hazard identified was radon. It was discharged to the
exterior by the ventilation systems. A dosimetric measurement system was set up at the
same time. In 1951, the CEA formed an inspection body, the Radiation Protection
Department (SPR) reporting directly to the High-Commissioner for the mining sector. A
methodology and a metrology were then set up (Bernhard & al, 1992).
3.2 Nuclear discord: The mining industry, a link of the nuclear industry
The second period, the era of nuclear discord, began in the mid-Seventies and ended twenty
years later when Compagnie gnrale des matires nuclaires (COGEMA) announced the
indefinite suspension of uranium mining in the Limousin. This period reflected a new
industrial configuration, more open and intense than the previous one, with sharp tensions.
The construction of a major nuclear power capability in France demanded much higher
uranium output than in the past. At the same time, criticism of the government decision
roiled across France. It impacted uranium mining, henceforth considered an inseparable
component of the nuclear industry. Uranium was no longer acknowledged to be the only
positive asset. And tentatively, the issue of waste materialised.
The government decision in 1974 to schedule the construction of nuclear power plants had
two major consequences for the CEAs mining sector. One concerned its organisation. To
streamline the new energy sector founded on the nuclear industry, the government decided
to split off all operations associated with the nuclear fuel cycle from the CEA, ranging from
mining to waste reprocessing. It created a subsidiary in 1976 for the purpose, named
COGEMA. The second consequence was the transformation of the local industrial
configuration in the Limousin. Annual uranium production had to be doubled. This goal
implied fresh prospecting and new mine sites. The mining division therefore expanded its
operating perimeter and went on a hiring spree. A number of comparative figures can
provide an idea of the transformation of the mining division in a few short years. In 1973, it
produced 590 tonnes of uranium; in 1980, 1002 tonnes of uranium for 620,300 tonnes of ore
extracted. At the same time, its area of occupancy rose from 350 to 1300 hectares, divided
into 3300 registered plots. Its workforce also grew from 650 in 1975 to 1000 in 1980. The new
mine workers were outsiders. The industrial configuration which, until then, was closed in
upon itself, opened up. But the extension of its activities henceforth became a problem for a
large segment of the population, farmers and others, who discovered and attempted to
legitimise environmental issues with local officials and administrative authorities. The
words pollution, nature protection, environmental problems became current, in
opposition to the earlier popularisation. These words come from the new environmentalist
vocabulary used by the national associations of conservation and environmental scientists.
They are then taken over by the State when it created, in 1973, the first environment
ministry in France. (Charvolin, 1997). Local officials passed the word on to COGEMAs
mining division and the State authorities. The texture of the individual arrangements which
hitherto cemented this configuration disintegrated. Conflicts broke out, essentially
collective. Some inhabitants of the mining zone set up owners and environmental
conservation associations. Antinuclear groups were also formed, especially in Limoges.
They decried the risks of radioactive pollution of the water catchment basins of their city by
mining operations. These conflicts were emblematic of the way in which environmental

Radioactive Waste

30
problems generated by the uranium industry and the solutions made thereto were posed
from then on. They also helped to grasp the conditions of the emerging issue of radioactive
waste.
A conflict about the definition of the situation broke out on two levels with the mining
division. Faced with the industrial breakthrough, these new associative players, pursuing
their favourite themes, became spokesmen of a nature and of a living framework that
deserved protection, and/or radical critics of a risky energy policy generating very long
term waste. In the former case, the associative arguments drew on sensitive past experience:
the noise generated by mining, the drying up of the springs, the degradation of the
landscape, were criticised. Water and landscaps were defended as common heritage of an
abused nature (Dorst, 1965) and as a positive asset whose use was jeopardised by pollution
and other industrial detriments. In the latter case, the scientific and critical arguments of the
GSIEN (Gsien, 1977) concerning the nuclear industry were mobilised. Appropriated by the
antinuclear associations, they were disseminated among the population of Limoges, so that
the conflict around the risk of radioactive pollution of drinking water that crystallised in
autumn 1979 was acknowledged to be a problem by the municipality and the Prefect, the
representative of the State. The confrontation found legitimacy in areas which were no
longer those of the mining division but those of the State. In the negotiations initiated in the
presence of local officials, while the State obliged COGEMA to protect the water resources
of the city from industrial releases, the director of the mining division nevertheless
continued to deny the problem. At a joint meeting chaired by the Prefect and attended by
the Mayor of Limoges and the director of the mining division, the latter offered an answer:
Yes, Prefect, we agree in principle, but provided that it is the prefectural authority that
issues the demand, and that it is perfectly clear that it is not a problem of pollution that
needs settling, but a problem of psychological damage. In other words, the crowd
psychology needs to be corrected. [Prefecture of the Haute-Vienne, "Radioactivity of
waters supplying the city of Limoges." - Proceedings of the briefing of 08/10/79.
Mimeographed].
At the same time, the State and the nuclear establishment were denounced for their habit of
withholding information about radioactivity monitoring measurements. Short of a
suspension of the nuclear power programme, which remained its ultimate target this
locally implied suspending the inauguration of new mine operations and the shutdown or
slowdown of those incurring a risk for the environment or for the population the local
antinuclear movement defends two others claims. The first is more intensive monitoring of
the radioactivity of drinking water and publication of the data. The second is the creation of
an enquiry commission to conduct an epidemiological survey by independent bodies.
It is in the tumult of this conflict that the nature protection and antinuclear associations also
alerted the public to practices they considered dubious. These included waste dumping at
night in an open pit mine by COGEMA. The CEA, which closed its uranium concentration
plant in the Paris area to the Bouchet factory, decided to transfer the tailings to the
Limousin. The arguments volunteered to justify this practice was their harmlessness and the
fact that having originated in the Limousin, they were merely going back to where they
came from. The answer offered by the Prefect of the Haute-Vienne in 1979 to a worried local
official:
A Controversial Management Process: From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France

31
[] At that time, there was no treatment plant on the spot and the ore was sent by
lorry to the Paris area, to the Bouchet factory installed by the CEA. The treatment of the
ore led to the production of a few thousand tonnes of sterile, just like the sterile at the
Bessines factory: these harmless materials are now returning. It is almost like going
back home. [press article in Le Populaire, 15 fvrier 1979]
The semantics were ingenuous: to qualify mine tailings as overburden meant to treat
them as any routine form of residue. Their problem was nonexistent, and their sole
admissible identity was the one attributed by COGEMA. This identity implied an ignorance
of the radioactive composition of these residues, and denied the existence of any risk. The
associations lacked the means to counter these assertions. Their criticism was limited to
inflating the challenge to this industry by arguments targeting waste, which contributed to
its disqualification. It sustained a powerful tension between the positive and negative
aspects of the industry. Yet too many economic and social challenges precluded its full and
unchallenged legitimacy. This is why the issue of radioactive waste from the mining
industry was not identified during this period, although emerging details tended in that
direction.
3.3 Nuclear uncertainty: Managing and qualifying the remnants
The third and final period, of nuclear uncertainty, began in 1988 with the announcement of
the speedy termination of industrial activity. The social configuration, hitherto centred on
industrial operations, and the problems raised by uranium production, were progressively
transformed into a solidly environmental configuration that would never end. From
uranium as acted nature, its remnants were considered acting nature. Indeed the radioactive
waste qualification process applied to the residues now entailed permanent vigilance and
accompaniment. A priori, its almost impossible to fix the term because the respective time
scales for men and radioactivity emitted by these wastes are immeasurable. This situation
resulted from the nuclear establishments progressive loss of hegemony of statement and
action with regard to these remnants (Brunet, 2004b). Its weakness had three causes. First, it
originates the strengthening of the expertise of the antinuclear movement in France with the
emergence of the associative expert, who scientifically challenged the arguments of the
nuclear establishment. Second, the local public authorities, no longer anticipating any
positive spinoffs from the industry, were vulnerable to the arguments of the associations.
Finally, thirdly, the nationwide nuclear establishment was forced into reform, given its
relative failure to propose an operationalisation of the comprehensive management of all
radioactive waste, high and low level alike. A correlation therefore existed between this
weakness, the obvious shift in acceptable standards on radioactive waste management, and
the stigmatising image projected by the recognition of the remnants as radioactive waste.
Nevertheless, the environmental configuration remained subject to regulatory practice.
With the onset of the Nineties, the mining industry declined and collapsed in late 1995.
COGEMAs decision in 1988 to stop any further mining in France had its economic
underpinnings: to mine only profitable orebodies. The low price of uranium on the world
market made Limousin ore expensive compared to those of Canada and Africa. Despite the
very intense but dispersed labour unrest, the mine workers and their unions had to give in,
and they quickly disappeared from the social landscape. While the local political officials
favoured the resumption of mining, others, urban political officials, promoted the idea of a

Radioactive Waste

32
green Limousin for the mining area, oriented towards housing and tourism. The
construction of expressways between Limoges and Monts dAmbazac shortened the
distances and many citydwellers came to live there. At the same time, in the late Nineties,
the inauguration of a leisure facility on St Pardoux Lake made it a relaxation centre for the
population of Limoges and for the tourists. That is why these urban political officials
formulated a twofold demand, non-negotiable for them: that COGEMA should finance a
conversion plan for the mining territory, and that it clean up the traces left by fifty years of
uranium mining.
Yet when mining operations ended, more than twenty million tonnes of residues generated
by the industrial process remained on the old mining territory, stored in open pit mines.
Added to this mass were wastes of all types, already present or anticipated. The industrial
logic of burial for many long years had been fully implemented. Thus, empty drums that
previously contained radioactive substances and originated directly from COGEMA and
CEA industrial facilities, were regularly dumped in thousands in the mine pits. And in the
guise of a conversion project, COGEMA planned to set up an interim storage facility for 200
000 tonnes of depleted uranium produced by the fuel enrichment cycle. All these factors
tended to project a negative and stigmatising image on the region, one of a nuclear
dustbin. The unfair tradeoff that triggered it contributed to a dual upheaval symbolic and
political. Symbolic, when the uranium converted to residues was no longer considered a
positive asset, but became a negative legacy. Political, when the radioactive, economic,
environmental and health hazards harboured by this negative legacy, whether real or
imaginary, soon spread and tended to convert the officials to the position defended by the
environmentalist associations. The industrial configuration blurred and vanished, leaving in
its place an environmental configuration in which COGEMA, the elected officials, State
representatives, associations and experts were the players. The experts then played a central
role in the dynamic of this configuration. They compiled and assessed the controversial
knowledge about the remnants, given the turmoil that governed the way in which the
questions were asked and answered. This knowledge, no doubt unstable, was nevertheless
sufficient to qualify and to manage the remnants.
Two types of expert faced off within this environmental configuration: the establishment
expert and the establishing expert (Bonnet, 2006a): the first largely came from the nuclear
establishment itself. This period of the late Nineties witnessed the generalised treatment as a
problematic issue of all radioactive waste and, as a corollary, a transformation of the
institutions which possessed and produced the expertise of the State in this field. We cannot
expand further on this issue in this chapter. However, it is clear that the progressive
inclusion of the remnants of the uranium industry in the issue of all radioactive waste
facilitated the process of its qualification. This transformation stemmed from processes of
differentiation and independence. For example, the French National Radioactive Waste
Management Agency (ANDRA) was created from a CEA Department. In 1981, with the
passage of the first French bill on the nuclear industry specifically and exclusively
addressing radioactive waste management, ANDRA became independent of the CEA. This
transformation impacted the radioactive waste management policy, the nuclear facility
safety policy, and the health and environmental safety policy of the population. The French
State did not succeed in resolving the management of high and medium level nuclear waste.
Underground storage alternatives were vigorously challenged by the public and the
A Controversial Management Process: From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France

33
antinuclear groups. From this point of view, the antinuclear groups did not conceal their
strategy. One of the routes for securing the shutdown of the nuclear industry in France was
to demonstrate the intestinal blockage of the system. This strategy consisted in focusing
public attention on the waste. Insofar as no transfer solution was accepted by the potential
host population (deep burial, underground storage with possible rehandling), the wastes
remained where they were generated and ultimately cluttered the area. Added to the
establishment expert, arguing by differentiation, were the university laboratories which
assumed a role in offering expertise, in which the monopoly of the nuclear establishment
disappeared.
During the same period, and at the same time, the associative players transformed
themselves into the typical ideal figure of the associative expert, with features specific to the
Limousin. This figure assumed two forms. On the one hand, it inspired the local
environmental defence associations and antinuclear groups, who together created the
Limousin anti-waste coordination (CLADE) in 1992. This flexible federative organisation
focused exclusively on the remnants of the mining industry. Its essential demand was the
conduct of a radiological investigation which, independently of the nuclear establishment,
could assess the environmental and health hazards incurred by these harmful remnants. The
prize was the definitive qualification of these remnants as radioactive wastes. It adjusted its
practices to this outcome. Thus, without awaiting the independent investigation that it
demanded from the authorities, it concentrated on the burden of proof that bedevilled it and
forced it to mobilise science to prove the existence of dangers to health. On the other hand,
this associative expert figure also engaged the Commission for Independent Research and
Information on Radioactivity (CRII-RAD), an associative radioactivity measurement
laboratory. CRII-RAD is a non-profit association created in 1986 to counter the statements of
the authorities and experts of the nuclear establishment, who, after Chernobyl Nuclear
Power Plant explosion, argued that the radioactive cloud had stopped at the French
border, and that there had been no significant radioactive fallout on the national territory.
This association enjoys the original privilege of having founded a laboratory for measuring
the radioactivity that is independent of the state and nuclear authorities, with a nationwide
audience. It is therefore at the junction of the activities of the local association, which
relentlessly denounced the potentially polluted locations, took samples in suspect places of
the old mining zone by observing the procedures recommended by the CRII-RAD and those
of the associative laboratory which analysed and interpreted the results, that this associative
expert unveiled its reality as a player and, progressively, imposed a new and critical
viewpoint on the remnants (Brunet, 2006c). There is therefore an important qualitative
change in the practice of associative expertise. Without the GSIEN having disappeared from
the associative landscape, the investigation of the antinuclear movement no longer relied
exclusively on a critique of the documents produced by the nuclear establishment, but on
independent evidence produced in the laboratory. This is one of the reasons why COGEMA,
the experts of the nuclear establishment and the authorities were compelled to re-examine
the knowledge and management of these remnants and to recognise them as radioactive
waste.
Firstly, the associative expert forced COGEMA, via the State, to take more restrictive
protective measures in its winding-up operations. But above all, with the support of the
local authorities, it succeeded in imposing the satisfaction of its central claim: the setting up

Radioactive Waste

34
of an independent investigation of all the mine sites. The Prefect decided in fact to set up a
Local Information Commission (CLI). This commission aims to provide information on the
risks incurred by ionising radiation pertaining to the activity of the uranium site
8
. The
composition of the CLI serves to gather together in a single place all the players in this
environmental issue: the services of the State, the operator, the eco-environmental and
antinuclear associations, local authorities and the experts. This decision is also the
translation of many reports produced or under preparation of the State Services and also of
the Parliamentary Office for Assessing Scientific and Technological Choices (OPECST) on
the mining residues that have supported this qualification (Ministre de lEnvironnement,
1991, 1993 ; OPECST, 1992). Thus, mining residues were definitively classed in the category
of radioactive waste, which implied a need for management and the establishment of new
standards. It is in this new setting of institutionalised consultation that a radiological
investigation of the mine zone was decreed.
To allay suspicion, the investigation was funded by the local authorities and took the form
of a joint investigation between the CRII-RAD and COGEMA laboratories. The definition of
the measurement plan and its implementation lay at the heart of the conflict on the most
appropriate definition of the situation. It is therefore not surprising that it was the subject of
lengthy and difficult negotiations between the players of the CLI. And when in 1994, the
results had to be interpreted by comparing the measurements of the two laboratories, the
players of the environmental configuration were unable to agree, leading to the breakup of
the CLI. The investigation, all the way to the assessment, clashed on two conflicts of
interpretation which prevented settling the argument between the associative movement
and COGEMA. First, in this mining area, how the part of the so-called natural radioactivity
and that provided by industrial activities? This question evidenced an attempt to establish
COGEMAs liability. And besides, is the risk assessed at the source, within the boundaries
of the mining sites, or is it, according to the regulations in force, assessed in the
environment, outside these boundaries? In the former case, waste monitoring was a public
matter; and the second, it remained a private affair, the domain of COGEMA, because access
to the source remained prohibited. Thus, while everybody agreed that the results of the two
laboratories were identical. But for the associative movement, they offered evidence of the
existence of risks which must be neutralised at the source, whereas for COGEMA, they
confirmed the absence of any danger to human health and justified his self-inspection.
3.4 Continuing tensions between expertise, democracy and social norms
The democratic trial seemed powerless to withstand the ordeal of scientific controversy.
Precisely because the scientific controversy extends continuously beyond the narrow issues
of Science. These were constantly articulated in terms of social norms: an environmental
hazard or a health risk always includes more than just scientific data (Beck, 1986). Both
reflect essentially normative points of view drawing not only on scientific reasoning but also
on social reasoning. Since it is around this model, initiated by the incomplete experiment of
the CLI, that two-track ad hoc procedures for consultation and negotiation punctuated every
new problem posed by acting nature. It brings together the elected officials, State
Administration, COGEMA and the experts, which reached the public domain in line with

8
Prefectoral decision of 7 January 1992.
A Controversial Management Process: From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France

35
the action model promoted by the associative expert. Moreover the action model was
completed by a legal expertise of the associative movement. All the actions of COGEMA and
of the State on radioactive waste management are the subject of closely attentive legal
monitoring by the local associative movement. In other words, the recognised legitimacy of
the environmental issue by expert knowledge, failed in setting up truly permanent systems
for consultation and negotiation, that is to say political. Only acting nature, via the
spokesmen experts, who claimed to be its interpreters, conditioned its frequency, intensity
and scale.
It follows that AREVA Company, formerly COGEMA
9
, like any mine producer, wanted to
leave Limousin for good after the industrial sites had been redeveloped, and not
rehabilitated as this company suggests (Bavoux & Guiollard, 1998). It was forced to remain
on the spot. In recent years, the State should take its place for a strictly indeterminate period.
Its task was precisely to contain this set of remnants now qualified as radioactive waste
and to meet the standards whose level of acceptability ceaselessly became more restrictive.
In other words, while the nuclear establishment was planning to return these wastes to
nature, according to its own terminology, to forget about them, they now became, probably
for an unlimited period, the subject of increasingly intensive monitoring, which forced it to
remain nearby. This obligation of surveillance and retention was not simply that. AREVA
NC and the State are resistant to this because it represents a cost to both economic and
symbolic. More the cost of monitoring work grows, less the industry shows that it was
profitable. Similarly, more problems appear, less engineering, over the long term, shows its
ability to solve them. Its in fact ceaselessly updated by the vigilance of the associative
movement. This monitoring is therefore fragile. Indeed, it is largely contingent on the
capacity of the movements coming from society to exercise this control which, necessarily,
remains discontinuous. The militant capacities of the associative movement are very fragile
(Brunet, 2004c; 2006b). More generally, above and beyond the issues of radioactive waste,
this situation raises the question of the role of public, the associative movements and experts
in a renewed technical democracy. In this context, certainly, the State should reconsider the
submission of general interest for the sole benefit of short-term economic, which denies the
existence of waste and problems. It needs also to recognize and take account of public
engagement in its attention to the commons with their coloration positive or negative, as are
the radioactive waste. In the same times, the public must recognize all the commons that are
part of the same story. This is certainly one of the most important political challenges of the
future of our industrial societies.
4. Conclusion
The socio-historical analysis of an industry helps to understand the place that gradually take
its waste. In France, in its productive phase, the uranium industry lasted about fifty years. In
fact it has no end. Three periods were able to be identified. Each has a very different
relationship to his remains. Their succession shows a progressive visibility and legitimacy of
his remains to the characterization of radioactive waste. The first period, which lasts nearly
twenty five years, shows that the remains do not exist. Either they are "returned to nature,"
either they are used for other purposes. Uranium is considered by all actors as a common

9
COGEMA changed its name in 2001 and is now called AREVA NC.

Radioactive Waste

36
unchallenged. Account only the nature acted. The second period corresponds to a strong
growth of the mining industry. This one is disputed because it disrupts the natural
environment. Two commons are then in opposition. Water and uranium, respectively,
correspond to urban and rural social worlds different. In addition, by the action of anti-
nuclear groups, the uranium industry becomes an integral part of the nuclear industry.
Their challenge is only to delegitimize the reassuring speech experts from the State and the
operator (CEA and COGEMA) about the environmental and health risks associated with
radioactivity, affecting the water. However, this challenge is limited because it based solely
on the data produced by the nuclear institution itself. Also, in this context of strong activity,
industrial remains are hardly questioned. The third period, which has no end, starts when
the industrial decline and the operator informs of the imminent closure of the mines. From
that moment, the remains are real issues and the problem of radioactive waste emerges. It
develops in a context of strong challenges that mobilize elected urban and antinuclear
groups against the state and the operator. Uranium as common fades along with its
industry. Only exist remnants that become problematic. It then becomes necessary to
identify, qualify as radioactive waste, measure and evaluate them in terms of environmental
and health risks. Antinuclear associations have acquired a capacity to produce data
themselves through the figure of the associative expert. But conflicts over these activities can
not diminish for two reasons. The democratic machinery around these radioactive wastes is
limited and fragile. And also the actors for the most part unaware of the history of the
industrial process in its entirety, including the production of its common, positive and
negative. Despite appearances, our society built on the basis of science and technology, is
fundamentally a political society.
5. References
Bavoux, B., Guiollard, P.-C., LUranium de la Crouzille, Fichous, Ed. P.-C. Guiollard, 1998
Barillot, B., Davis M., Les dchets nuclaires militaires franais, Lyon, CDRPC, 1994.
Beck, U., Risikogesellschaft, Francfort, Suhrkamp Verlag, 1986.
Bernhard, S., Pradel, J., Tirmarche, M., Zettwoog P., Bilan et enseignement de la
radioprotection dans les mines duranium depuis 45 ans (1948-1992), Revue Gnrale
Nuclaire, n6, 1992.
Braverman H., Travail et capitalisme monopoliste, Paris, Maspero, 1976, 361 pages.
Brunet, P., La nature dans tous ses tats : Uranium, nuclaire et radioactivit en Limousin,
Limoges, Presses Universitaires de Limoges, 2004a, 353 pages.
Brunet, P., Lenvironnement concert et ngoci : un demi-sicle dexploitation industrielle
de luranium en Limousin , Ecologie et Politique, n28, 2004b, pp.121-140.
Brunet, P., Limpossible gouvernance lpreuve de la nature agissante in Scarwell, H.-J.,
Franchomme, M., (Dir.), Contraintes environnementales et gouvernance des territoires,
LAube, 2004c, pp.147-154
Brunet, P., Lexpert en technosciences : figure critique ou gestionnaire de la
civilisation industrielle contemporaine ? in Guespin, J., Jacq, A., (Coord.), Le
vivant, entre science et march : une dmocratie inventer, Ed. Syllepse, 2006a, pp.
99-125.
Brunet, P., Flux et reflux de lengagement antinuclaire. Entre vigilance et dnonciation ,
in Roux J. (Coord.), Etre vigilant Loprativit discrte de la socit du risque, Presses
Universitaires de Saint-Etienne, 2006b, pp. 189-202
A Controversial Management Process: From the Remnants of the Uranium
Mining Industry to Their Qualification as Radioactive Waste The Case of France

37
Brunet, P., La CRII-RAD, un laboratoire passe-muraille entre militantisme et
professionnalisme , in Reconversions militantes, textes runis par Tissot S., Limoges,
Presses Universitaires de Limoges, 2006c, pp. 163-173
Brunet, P., De lusage raisonn de la notion de concernement : mobilisations locales
propos de lindustrie nuclaire Nature, Sciences et Socit, n4, dcembre, 2008
Charvolin F., Linvention du domaine de lenvironnement au tournant de lanne 1970 en
France , STRATES n9, pp. 184-196, 1997
Dorst, J, La nature dnature, Paris, Delachaux et Niestl, 1965
Ducrocq, A., Les horizons de lnergie atomique, Paris, Calmann-Lvy, 1948
Einstein, A., Comment je vois le monde, Paris, Flammarion, 1979
Gibrin, C., Atomique secours Etude des effets de lengin atomique et de la protection familiale et
collective contre le danger arien, Paris, Charles-Lavauzelle & Cie, 1953, 179 p.
Goldschmidt, B., Laventure atomique, Paris, Fayard, 1962
Goldschmidt, B, Le complexe atomique, Paris Fayard, 1980
Goldschmidt, B., Pionniers de latome, Paris, Stock, 1987
G.S.I.E.N. (Groupement de Scientifique pour lInformation sur lEnergie Nuclaire), Electro-
nuclaire: danger, Paris, Seuil, 1977.
Hecht G., The radiance of France : Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II, M.I.T.
Massachussets, USA, 1998
IAEA, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards. Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,
GOV/2006/14, February, 2006
Joliot-Curie, F., Textes choisis, Paris, Editions sociales, 1963
Martin, C.-N., Latome matre du monde, Paris, Le Centurion, 1956
Ministre de lEnvironnement, Desgraupes, P., Rapport de la Commission dExamen des
dpts de Matires radioactives, juillet 1991.
Ministre de lEnvironnement, Barthlmy, F., Rapport Monsieur de Ministre de
lEnvironnement relatif aux dchets faiblement radioactifs, affaire n92-282, Conseil
Gnral des Ponts et Chausses, 14 mai 1993.
Naville, P., La guerre de tous contre tous, Paris, Galile, 1977, 220 p.
Ndiaye, P., Les ingnieurs oublis de la bombe A , La Recherche, n306, fvrier 1998, p.82-
87.
OPECST, Le Daut, J-Y, Rapport La gestion des dchets trs faiblement radioactifs ,
Assemble Nationale n2624, Snat n309, Tome II, avril 1992
Oppenheimer, J.R., La science et le bon sens, Paris, Gallimard, 1955.
Paucard, A., La mine et les mineurs de luranium franais, I les temps lgendaires (1946-1950),
Cogema, 1992.
Paucard, A., La mine et les mineurs de luranium franais, II le temps des conqutes (1951-1958),
Cogema, 1994.
Paucard, A., La mine et les mineurs de luranium franais, III le temps des grandes aventures (1959-
1973), Cogema, 1996
Prendiville B., Lcologie la politique autrement ?, Paris, LHarmattan, 1993.
Quneudec, J.-P., Le rejet la mer de dchets radioactifs , Annuaire franais de droit
international, volume 11, 1965. pp. 750-782.
Simonnot, P., Les nuclocrates, Grenoble, P.U.G., 1978

Radioactive Waste

38
Wynne, B., Le nuclaire au Royaume-Uni in GODARD, O., (dir.), Le principe de prcaution
dans la conduite des affaires humaines, Paris, Editions de la Maison des sciences de
lhomme, INRA Editions, 1997
3
Problems of Uranium
Waste and Radioecology in
Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions
B. M. Djenbaev, B. K. Kaldybaev and B. T. Zholboldiev
Institute of Biology and National Academy of Sciences KR, Bishkek
Kirghiz Republic
1. Introduction
It is known that uranium industry in the former Soviet Union was a centralized state
management. Information flows related to the issues of uranium mining was strictly
controlled and is in a vertical subordination of the structures of the Ministry of Medium
Machine Building of the USSR. After the USSR collapse, the information about uranium
mining and processing were not available in Kyrgyzstan, and all the data related to past
uranium production, were in the Russian Federation in the archives of the successor of the
former Minsredmash.
The activity of the regulatory body in the field of radiation safety have been independent of
the former USSR. The agency also was part of the Minsredmash, which was responsible
for the nuclear industry. Application of regulatory safety standards ("standards") with
respect to exposure and control of emissions of radioactivity in the field of mining and
processing was similar in all organizations of the uranium industry, making it easier for
their administrative use.
The requirements of radiation safety often disappeared or were not fulfilled, because the
task performance of production had priority at the expense of safety. The neglected
environmental protection requirements and protection of human health in the process of
extraction often the same reason and processing of uranium ores, and recycling.
Environmental protection has not been determined as a priority, and have not been
identified the relevant criteria of safe operations. While establishing the new mining and
uranium ore processing units, the issues of the protection of the environment has been
neglected, and the data collection which should become the basis for further evaluation and
possible remediation of contaminated areas that make up the heritage of the industry, was
not done.
Uranium mining in the country was launched in 1943 year. After Kyrgyzstan gained
independence, the uranium tailings are preserved, but without the engineering and
technical support outside of Russia and cooperation with other independent countries in the
region. Since the early 90's uranium industry of Kyrgyzstan in the region was unexpectedly
opened to the world market. A large number of mines in the region during the low

Radioactive Waste

40
profitability of such production has stopped in the 70s of last century. Nowadays, some
companies continue to pollute the surrounding areas polluted by dust from uncontrolled
waste disposal sites of uranium production, although to a lesser extent than during the
current production. The deterioration of the environment as a fact of many experts
associates with a significant economic slowdown in countries faced with serious social
problems of local people. This particularly applies to facilities located in Kyrgyzstan, whose
economy has suffered more than others in the region. The environmental situation in
Kyrgyzstan is exacerbated economic problems, provoking people to predatory use of
natural resources (deforestation, poaching, extensive use of arable land, neglect melioration
and other measures), which leads, on the basis of the feedback to further environmental
degradation.
Thus, the post-war (1941-1945) development of Kyrgyzstan has been closely linked with
economic and military policies of the Soviet Union and known that Kyrgyzstan was the
largest producer of uranium from 1946 to 1968 for the former Soviet Union. Huge amount of
raw materials as a due to inefficient production and wasteful processing of minerals have in
the territory of the Republic (747 220 000 m
3
) with high content of potentially dangerous
chemicals stored in waste dumps and tailing. For storage of uranium waste additional waste
were also imported from other friendly countries such as Germany, Czech Republic,
Slovakia, Bulgaria, China and Tajikistan. The status of these dumps and storage facilities so
bad, that radioactive waste, heavy metals and toxic chemicals pollute the environment (soil,
air, water) and living organisms. They are involved in biogeochemical cycles in the
formation of new biogeochemical provinces (5,6, 14).
In general, the territory of Kyrgyzstan is a large number of radioactive sources (1200). The
radioactive sources are stored in premises built storages of primitive methods (overlap of
the mountain gorge.) Many of the tailings were formed within settlements (Maili-Suu,
Min-Kush, Kaji-Say, Ak-Tuz, Kahn and others) in the mountain valleys and along the
river.
Interest in the use of a nuclear facility for peaceful purposes again increased in the early
twenty-first century at the decision of the new strategic challenges in the world. For
example, at this time (2011) in the country four companies have influenced right to operate
at a uranium deposit and 12 companies have licensed right to search for uranium ore.
However, it should be noted, after the case in the Japan with nuclear stations (2011),
security, use of nuclear energy, require special importance and improvement processes for
peaceful purposes.
Thus, in the republic issue of Radioecology and radio biogeochemistry took priority of rare
and rare earth elements of the former uranium production (tailing and dumps). The most
urgent is to find features radiobiogeochemical enriched uranium and other trace elements
and evaluation of reaction areas of organisms in ecosystems of the high content of
radionuclide and base metals.
During a long time of economic activities in the Kyrgyz Republic has accumulated a huge
amount of industrial and municipal solid wastes containing radionuclides, heavy metals
and toxic substances (cyanide, acids, silicates, nitrates, sulfates, etc.), negatively affecting on
the environment and human health. In this regard, the problem of waste management is
becoming increasingly important, and some waste has a frontier character.

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

41
2. Materials and methods
Since 2005 integrated studies for evaluation of radio-ecological features and radio
biogeochemical features in uranium tailings and dumps are carried out by us. The survey
was carried out according to the modern techniques and methodologies at the territories of
radiological, and eco-radio biogeochemical study of the various types of the biosphere(4, 8,
9,11, 13).
The equipment used in research, consists of a set - Dosimeter-radiometer DKS-96, Radiometer
PPA-01M-01 with the sampling device POU-4, Photo-electro-colorimeter (SPECOL), liquid
scintillation spectrometer, - spectrometer (CAMBERRA), radiometer UMF-2000, etc., a
satellite instrument to determine the coordinates and a personal computer with data entry
module. Distribution and data processing were performed on a personal computer using a
special software package. Gamma-ray surveying carried out in accordance with the
"Instruction on the ground survey of the radiation situation in the contaminated area" at a
height of 0.1 and 1 meter above the ground. According to the technical manuals of dosimeters,
at one point was carried out at least three measurements, the log recorded average
Measurements of gross alpha and beta - activity in the mass were performed in the
laboratory. For measuring gross alpha and beta - activity in the mass was performed prior to
digestion. For that, each sample weighing was carried out separately, and determined their
actual weight. They then converted into porcelain crucibles and placed in a cold muffle
furnace. Digestion was performed for one hour at 450
0
C, and then the temperature was
raised to 550
0
C and after three hours muffle furnace turned off. The resulting ash was
weighed and ground in a porcelain mortar and homogenized to the state from counting
samples were collected weight 0.4 grams for the measurement of alpha and beta - irradiation
on radiometer UMF-2000. Volumetric total alpha activity in the sample (Bq/kg) was
calculated using the formula:
A = (A / M) (M1 / m)
where A - gross alpha-activity of radionuclide in
the counting sample (Bq)
M - mass of the original sample (kg)
M
1
and
m
- mass of the ash samples and aliquots of cell mass (mass of sample countable) (g),
respectively.
The total volume of beta activity calculated similarly.
Determination of the isotopic forms of radionuclide samples of soil and plants were dried after
harvest, soil samples were ground further in a mortar and pestle and sieved through a 2.0
mm diameter, 1.0 mm, 0.25 mm., Plant samples were cut with scissors and prepared at the
machine for grinding plant samples. Further sample tests of soil and plants were burnt in a
muffle furnace at 400C, after burning
90
Sr stood by oxalate and antimony-
137
Cs iodine on
relevant techniques. Shortchanging the final draft of
90
Sr was carried out on the radiometer
UMF-2000, by
90
Sr by instrumental gamma-ray spectrometry. As a model of a radioactive
source used a set of solid sources,
90
Sr + It
90
activity of 50 Bq in the angle 4 and 26 Bq in the
angle 2, with an area of active spot 4 cm
2
. Cut-off screen for
90
Sr was an aluminum filter
with a surface density of 150 mg/cm
2
, such a filter reduces the effects of
90
Sr in 128 times,
and activity It
90
two times (2, 4).

Radioactive Waste

42
Satellite device (GPS) with regular frequency automatically recorded the longitude and
latitude location, and stores this data in its memory. All coordinate data, indicators of levels
of radioactivity, the date, time of measurement later transferred to a computer's memory
with the help of the writer. In carrying out studies have been conducted random measure
radiation levels in different parts of the tailings piles and indoor as well as selected samples
of soil and plants for laboratory analysis.
3. Discussion of research results
In connection with the collapse of the USSR on the territory of Kyrgyzstan in derelict
condition were 55 of tailings, the total area of 770 hectares, of which more than 132 000 000
m
3
of tailings dumps stored, and 85 gained more than 700 m
3
of waste, cover an area of over
1,500 hectares. There are 31 tailing dumps and 25 contain the wastes of uranium production
volume - 51.830 000 m
3
, the total radioactivity of more than 90 000 Ci (as of 2010) (1, 6). Since
the mid 50s of last century to the present time in the country closed or mothballed 18 mining
companies, including 4 for the extraction of uranium (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Layout of the main places of accumulated waste of the former uranium production in
Kyrgyzstan
According to the latest data from the National Statistical Committee of Kyrgyz Republic
(2010) Most of the toxic waste in the territory of Issyk-Kul (61.4%) and Batken (25.8%)
regions. In Issyk-Kul region, the amount of waste has risen sharply since 1997 in
connection with the commissioning of the gold processing plant "Kumtor", and in the
Batken region of their main sources of formation are Khaidarkan (Hg) and Kadamzhai
(Sb) plants.

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

43
Toxic chemicals and radionuclide (As, S, Pb, Hg, Sb, U, etc.) in the waste dumps and tailings
are found in both soluble and insoluble forms. The most dangerous of them are mobile
forms compounds that are primarily involved in the chain: soil, water, vegetation, animals,
people. Special problem of waste accumulation (more than 15 million m
3
) of overburden
dumps, tailings and ore-balance, holding large areas near the settlements in the mountains,
drainage basin, etc. The greatest threat of contamination remains uranium waste in cross-
border areas on the slopes of the Fergana mountain frame and Chui valleys (near Maili-Suu
city, settlements Shekaftar, Ak-Tuz and others).
After independence (1991), Kyrgyzstan began to collaborate with many international
organizations on this issue, such as the UN, the IAEA, EU, UNESCO, UNDP, IMF and
others. The following areas have been designated as priorities for Kyrgyzstan in conclusion
with experts of the TC IAEA for the intermediate term period.
3.1 Rehabilitation of the effects of uranium mining and processing activities
Kyrgyzstan is facing serious environmental problems associated with uranium mining
and processing activities in country. Due to natural disasters such as earthquake,
landslide, mudflow and erosion processes increases the threat of further contamination by
radioactive substances. As a result of natural processes a number of uranium tailings had
been damaged. Most of the tailings storage facilities are in disrepair and poorly
controlled.
The following actions require immediate attention:
to develop and confirm the national program of radiating monitoring (at present is not
present national the program on radiation monitoring);
to give radio ecological and radio biogeochemical estimation;
to estimate and begin rehabilitation works by a priorities;
to develop correspond uniform regulating infrastructure on the radiating and nuclear
safety, capable to operate a situation for the long-term period (till now there is no
uniform regulating state structure).
3.2 Health: Improved diagnostics and nuclear services radiotherapy
The use of methods based on radiation for the prevention, early detection and treatment of
cancer is one of the main priorities of the government in the health sector.
It is known that the use of obsolete equipment in radiotherapy for cancer treatment greatly
reduces the chances of survival, and jeopardizes the health of staff. Moreover, the operating
costs of equipment, lack of parts and skilled technicians make things worse.
Therefore, the planned improvement of radiotherapy services was an important component
of the IAEA TC for the country over the medium term:
the urgent need to upgrade radiotherapy equipment at the National Center of
Oncology, KR;
modernization of nuclear medicine and diagnostic services through appropriate
programs;
modernization of tomography and diagnostic equipment;

Radioactive Waste

44
The need to focus efforts on training of medical staff, as well as the introduction of
modern diagnostic techniques.
3.3 Knowledge management and rational use of nuclear technology
In 2005, Kyrgyz Republic became a member of the International Nuclear Information
System IAEA (INIS). How to create a network of analytical and calibration laboratories.
Kyrgyzstan has received significant assistance through projects of various international
organizations such as the World Bank, IAEA, UNDP, IMF, EU and bilateral assistance
provided by the governments of Austria, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the
USA.
By the IAEA in the country, a modern radiology laboratory at the Institute of Biology and
Pedology National Academy of Sciences, industry laboratories under the Department of
State Sanitary and Epidemiology, Health Ministry of KR and Kara-Balta Environmental
Laboratory.
In the framework of national and regional projects of IAEA - agency offers: the expertise,
scientific visits, seminars and training courses on various aspects of radiation safety.
Kyrgyzstan also has acquired the necessary modern dosimeter and analytical equipment for
monitoring and analysis.
Legal and regulatory framework
The main basic Law of the KR, which regulates the handling of sources of radiation, is the
"Law on Radiation Safety KR" as amended on February 28, 2003 # 48 and August 1, 2003 #
168. This law defines the legal relationship in the field of radiation safety and protection of
the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. The law defines the main
concepts, in particular, the term - "contamination" as the presence of radionuclide of
technogenic origin in the environment, which may lead to additional exposure in an
individual dose of more than 10 Sv year. Additional exposure below this level is negligible
and should not be taken into account.
In accordance with the Act in 2005 Kyrgyz Republic, a special representative governing
body for radiation protection, regulatory activities with radiation hazardous technologies
and sources of radiation under the Ministry of Ecology and Emergency Situations. Since
2006, this Ministry was reorganized into two - "The Ministry for the Protection of natural
and forest resources" and "The Ministry of Emergencies." The regulatory role belongs to the
Ministry of Health, in particular the Office of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological
Surveillance.
The main regulations in the Kyrgyz Republic have been adapted previously developed in
the Russian Federation NRB-99 and Sanitary Regulation of Radioactive Waste Management
(SRRM-2002). In particular, as the principal dose limit for the staff of the existing enterprises
whose activities are related to the practice of radioactive waste management is set at 20 Sv
per year, while the limit dose for the population in areas where uranium companies is set at
1 Sv per year. A clear recommendation for establishing intervention levels and regulatory
criteria for the study of remediation activities at the former uranium companies has not been
established yet.

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

45
Till present time establishes the recommendations for remediation of former uranium
companies "Sanitary rules of liquidation, and conversion mining of conservation and
processing of radioactive ores" (SLCP - 91). "The existing law "On the tailings and dumps"
(2001) is a specific document relating to governance and uranium tailings and rock dumps.
Earlier as a noted, some of these documents were developed during the former USSR and
some are adapted to the Russian Federation, but they must be revised and adapted. These
activities are carried out by the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Agency for
Environmental Protection and Forestry of the Kyrgyz Republic.
It should also be noted that the IAEA report ("Radiation and Waste Safety Infrastructure
Profile (RWSIP) Kyrgyzstan Part A, 2005), most legal documents in the Kyrgyz Republic of
related issues justify rehabilitation, are not available and require development yet.
4. Brief description of the major uranium tailings and dumps
4.1 Maili-Suu technogenic uranium province
Uranium deposit district in Maili-Suu practiced from 1946 to 1967. Currently, the former
enterprise, including in the urban areas are 23 tailings and 13 mining dumps. The total
amount of uranium waste, pending in the tailings is approximately 199 000 000 m
3
and
occupies an area of 432 000 m
2
. The tailings were conserved in the 1966-1973 years,
according to existing regulations. Heaps with a volume of 939 300 m
3
and occupied area
about 114 700 m
2
were not re-cultured (Fig. 2), (1, 3, 5).
For a long time working on repair and maintenance of tailings were sporadic and
insufficient. At the present time, the average exposure dose of gamma radiation (gamma-
background) on the surface of the tailings is 30-60 mR/h, at some local anomalous areas
have greater than 1000 mR/h.
However the science analysts estimate that extraction from the original rock has been reach
up to 90-95% of the uranium, and in the tails is only 5 to 10% or so in todays tails makes
great background progeny of the uranium series. In table 1 the structure of original ore and
a tail material of the Maili-Suu field are resulted. Elevated levels of Mn and Ca in the tails, as
compared with the ore is associated with the use of compounds as a reagent and auxiliary
substances in the ore processing and extraction of uranium, and high levels of lead, usually
associated with the addition of radiogenic lead, is in the ore.

Components% Original ore Tailings
Ca 10-20 30
Si 20 6-10
Fe 2-3 0,4-1,0
Pb 1,5-2,0 2,0-3,2
Cr 4,5-6,0 2-3
Mn - 50-200
V 1,0 0,4-0,6
Ni 3-5 2
Table 1. The average maintenance of separate components in ores and tailings of Maili-Suu

Radioactive Waste

46

Fig. 2. The scheme of arrangement of tailings and waste dumps in anthropogenic provinces
Maili-Suu.
From 1997 to 2003 special rehabilitation work in the country have been done, if they were
sporadic. Starting from 2003 to 2007 in the country sharply intensified geomorphologic
processes (landslides and floods), and therefore became acutely the question of preservation
and rehabilitation of tailings and dumps (Fig.3-4). Upsurge in landslides, mudflows, erosion
phenomena on the slopes adjacent to the tailings, the lack of funds for maintenance and
repair and maintenance work has created a situation in some of the tailings in which may
cause an ecological catastrophe. It should be noted that the destruction of tailings lead to
removal of the tail material, not only in to the Maili-Suu river valley, but also into the
densely populated Ferghana valley, and further to the basin of Syrdaria river. Fig. 5-6 shows
the effect of surface re-vegetation of tailings in the period 1997-2003 compared to 1961. It
clear from this scheme that the final completion of the re-cultivation work has far
prospective.
The soil cover in the basin area downstream of the river - a typical gray soil, in the middle
course - a dark gray soil, and then start mining-brown soil. General characteristics of the soil
is as follows: pH 8.2 - 8.8, nitrate - 13.2 - 25 mg/kg of dry matter, chlorides - 25 - 47 mg/kg
sulfate - 240 -895 mg/kg and petroleum products - 18 - 128 mg/kg of dry matter. Physical

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

47

Fig. 3. Location uranium production Maili-Suu

Fig. 4. The current state of tailings (# 8,9)
and chemical properties of soil cover, the Maili-Suu (except for the area of man-made sites),
according to Sanitary and Epidemiology norm (SanEpidN) are in conformity or below the
MPC (Maximum Permitted Concentration). More detailed study showed that not all the
indicators correspond to the standard level, especially the level of trace elements.
Studies suggest a relatively low level of contamination of the soil cover micronutrients in
relation to the background and the MPC. Found a slight increase in the concentration: Al,
Mn, Se and U (2 - 3 times) in the autumn and spring, and Zn up to 6 times, the background
of U in sub-region in more than 10 times than MPC.

Radioactive Waste

48

1961 year 2003 year
* Red indicates the areas exceeded MPC (100 mR/h
-1
), green area marked with MPC, complying with
local natural background
Fig. 5. and Fig. 6. The effect of surface re-vegetation of tailings in the period 1997-2003.
The vegetation (collection) in the basin Maili-Suu content of most trace elements studied at
the level of control areas or slightly higher. Compared with the background sites, content:
Al, Ba, Be, Fe, Mn, and Zn 2-times higher; As, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se and U - to 5 times; Mo, Co,
Cd - 10-15 times. Increasing concentrations of trace elements observed in the middle and
lower reaches of rivers. At some level of background regions is different from the minerals
MPC. For example: U, Fe and Co more than a factor of 2, Hg - 10 times higher.
In an average sample of plants in the upper section (conditionally pure), the level of key
micronutrients studied is relatively low, except for certain items, such as - Al in the Fergana
wormwood (Artemisia ferganensis) - 2.5 times; Cu, Se and V in the astragalus (Astragalus
lasiosemius) - 2 - 2.5 times; Ni in astragalus (Astragalus lasiosemius) and Artemisia Fergana
(Artemisia ferganensis) - 10 times more compared to the background of other areas of the
country.
According to our research water of Maili-Suu r. is not suitable for drinking. In some parts of
the river water are found the highest concentrations - Se, exceeding the MPC in 23 times.
Fe - concentration exceeds the MPC by 6 times or more, especially in the 2 and 5 points. The
content - Cd, Al, Hg, Mn and Pb higher than normal in 2 times. The data obtained by: Ba, Fe,
Co, Ni and Zn were not statistically significant (Table 2).
It should be noted that the destruction of tailings lead to removal of the tail material, not
only in the valley r.Maili-Suu, but in the densely populated Ferghana valley, then - in the
basin r.Syrdaria. In the zone of influence of the tailings of the former enterprise Maili-Suu in

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

49
Elements MPC
Sampling point (the river) and the mean values
1 2 3 4 5
1. Al
2. Ba
3. Co
4. Cu
5. Fe
6. Hg
7. Mn
8. o
9. Ni
10. Pb
11. Se
12. V
13. Zn
14. U
15. Cd
0,5
4,0
1,0
1,0
0,5
0,005
0,1
0,5
0,1
0,1
0,001
0,1
1,0
0,037
0,001
0,550,09
0,0680,01
0,0050,002
0,0040,001
0,2480,025
0,010,003
0,070,012
0,0050,001
0,0260,006
0,020,001
0,0230,005
0,0070,001
0,0050,001
0,0040,001
0,0020,001
1,0760,15
0,0090,001
0,00730,001
0,0070,002
0,460,062
0,010,001
0,2250,013
0,0040,001
0,0320,001
0,0350,001
0,020,003
0,0110,002
0,0110,002
0,040,002
0,0020,000
0,940,031
0,0240,003
0,0050,001
0,0050,001
0,340,025
0,010,002
0,0810,012
0,0100,002
0,0250,003
0,020,003
0,0230,02
0,0060,001
0,0030,001
0,190,021
0,0020,001
1,0260,13
0,0880,012
0,0060,001
0,0080,002
2,540,42
0,010,002
0,1810,032
0,0030,001
0,0280,004
0,020,003
0,020,004
0,0080,001
0,1420,023
0,040,005
0,0020,000
1,0860,13
0,1020,012
0,0050,001
0,0080,001
3,2090,54
0,010,002
0,1920,016
0,0100,002
0,0250,004
0,020,003
0,0230,005
0,0060,001
0,0770,011
0,040,005
0,0020,000
0,9350,22
0,0740,068
0,0050,001
0,0060,001
2,6011,01
0,010,001
0,1010,03
0,0060,004
0,220,14
0,0230,002
0,0210,001
0,0070,001
0,0470,023
0,040,01
0,0020,0002
Table 2. Trace element composition of water in the r. Maili-Suu (average annual mg/kg)
Kyrgyzstan, home to 26 000 people, and Uzbekistan - to 2 400 000, Tajikistan - about 700 000,
Kazakhstan - about 900 000 long-term contamination of radionuclides will be subjected to
extensive areas Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, most of which are in the area of
irrigated agriculture. Exposed to infection by rivers and streams, including such major
rivers as the Kara-Darya, Syr-Darya. Water supply of drinking water is from rivers and
canals, taking them from the beginning. Even if the water supply from groundwater wells
may be contaminated with radioactive elements.
It should be noted that the collapse of tailings lead to removal of the tail material, not only in
the valley of the Maili-Suu river, but in the densely populated in Fergana Valley, then - in
the basin of Syr Darya river. In the zone of tailings influence in Maili-Suu the former
enterprise in Kyrgyzstan, lives about 26 thousand people, Uzbekistan - to 2.4 million,
Tajikistan - around 0.7 million, Kazakhstan - about 0.9 million. Extensive areas in
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan, most of which are in the area of irrigated
agriculture, are exposed to long-term contamination with radionuclides. The major sources
for public exposure are the rivers and streams, including such major rivers as the Kara-
Darya and Syr Darya. Water supply of drinking water is from rivers and canals, taking them
from the beginning. Even if the water supply from groundwater wells may be contaminated
with radioactive elements.
As a whole the soil-vegetative cover near the rivers Majli-Suu according to obtained data is
satisfactory. There are no changes revealed of level of the studied elements in a soil-
vegetative cover for several years. Naturally, the land covers in the tailings is not suitable
for agricultural purposes and require special guidelines for local residents.
Currently, the safe storage of uranium waste in the town of Maili-Suu, has the following
problems: disposal facilities are located less than 200 meters from residential city limits, the
waste stockpiled near the river bed Maili-Suu. In order to reduce radon load to an
acceptable level of sanitary protection zone in the city should be more than 3 km. Tailings
dams require constancy of preventive measures in case of catastrophic floods and mud
streams.

Radioactive Waste

50
In the geotechnical investigations and tailings design was not taken into account
susceptibility to landslides in the region involving the violation of rock massifs in the
development of oil fields. In recent years, large-scale response of the slopes on the mountain
of work is expressed in the mass development of landslides in the entire field. They provoke
the probability of failure of some tailings. With landslides in the valley may be formed
landslide lakes and catastrophic floods. In the flood zone may be tailing located along the
river Maili-Suu river, as well as homes and other facilities of the city.
Lack of waterproofing the bottom of the tailings may lead to contamination of groundwater
with radionuclide. Studies on the content of radionuclide in ground water and other
contaminants have been conducted, as disposal facilities were not equipped with
monitoring wells. The situation is complicated by the fact that after the cessation of uranium
mining and the collapse of the Soviet Union and tailings dumps were abandoned for a long
time in the state. Until 1998, there were only occasional maintenance and repair work.
Environmental emergency calls for speedy implementation of measures for rehabilitation of
tailings and dumps, to ensure long-term stability and prevent the threat of ecological
catastrophe, the consequences of which could cause political complications and also in
Central Asia.
Since 2007, the province implemented the project "Prevention of emergency situations",
funded by the World Bank, worth 10 950 000 US dollars. The project provides for the
identification and prevention of the most significant risks of radioactive tailings in the town
of Maili-Suu, hazards of natural origin (landslides) and the improvement of emergency
management. Work carried out by VISUTEK (Germany). Earlier, district repeatedly visited
various expert missions to the IAEA, the World Bank, ADB, and the Russian Federation and
other international organizations. As indicated from the conducted studies, tailing number 3
can impose high risk, so this tailing has been transferred to tailing number 16.
4.2 Issyk-Kul province of natural uranium (uranium-technogenic Kadji-Say)
Issyk-Kul province of natural uranium is located on the south shore of the lake Issyk-Kul, in
Ton district, at an altitude of 1980 m above sea level. Mining Enterprise of the Ministry of
Average Machine Building of USSR for processing uranium ore there was in operation from
1948 to 1969, and was subsequently converted into the electrical engineering plant. The
uranium oxide at this site is generated from the ashes of brown coals uraniferous sogutin
filed as a by product for the electricity production from coal (5, 15)
Waste and industrial equipment have been buried, forming a tailings pond, with a total
volume of uranium waste 400 000 m
3
, an area of 10 800 m
2
. Tailings from uranium waste is
located 2.5 km east of the residential village, but due to natural factors (rain, groundwater,
landslides and mudflows) is an environmental threat to lake Issyk-Kul (1.5 km from the
lake) and the nearest towns located on slopes up to 30-45 between the mountains. For 50
years there has been intense uplifting coastal area near the industrial site. A small part of the
radioactive ash reached the lake Issyk-Kul.
According to Kovalsky V.V., Vorotnitskaya I.E. and Lekareva V.S. (10), the amount of
uranium in the waters of rivers - Ton, Ak- Suu, Issyk-Kul is 5,6 10
-6
g\l. According to
Kovalsky V.V element content in the river Jergalan varies, depending on season and room
selection, from 2,8 10
-6
to 1 10
-5
g\l. Key water wells and rivers of the Issyk-Kul basin

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

51
contain 10, in some cases - 100 times more uranium than water areas and non-black earth
black earth zone of Russia. Table 3 shows the results of our analysis of natural radionuclides
in the water of rivers and tributaries of the lake Issyk-Kul, and the ratio of
234
U/
238
U.
According to scientific estimates of researchers in the lake holds about 100 tons of uranium.

Location of sampling
Uranium
(total) Bq1
-1
234
U/
238
U
Gross alpha
Bq1
-1
226
Ra
Bq1
-1
Issyk-Kul lake , Kara Oi v. 1,790,18 1,130,05 1,80 0,013
r. Bulan-Sogotu 0,090,01 - 0,10 0,002
r. Kichi Ak-Su 0,170,02 - 0,20 0,009
r. Tuip 0,230,02 - 0,23 0,016
r. Kara-Kol 0,210,02 - 0,25 0,005
Issyk-Kul lake , Ak-Terek v. 0,560,06 - 0,60 0,02
Kadji-Say v. a stream number 1
before the rain
4,210,42 1,490,05 4,5 0,007
Kadji-Say v. a stream number 2
before the rain
10,21,02 1,300,05 10,0 0,005
Issyk-Kul, v. Kadji-Sai river
mouth
1,690,17 1,520,05 1,67 0,015
Table 3. Natural radionuclides in the water of rivers and tributaries of the lake Issyk-Kul
As Table 4 shows, for comparison, the ratio
234
U/
238
U at different times and the average
content of uranium, this has the same level with slight variations.

Location of testing
=
234
U/
238
U
Contents
Uranium
10
-6
g/l (9)
1966-1990
(1-6)
2003-2004
(12)
r. Toruaygyr - 1,490,01 11,0-19,0
r.Chon-Aksu 1,390,01 1,420,01 6,7-10,7
r. Tup 1,430,01 1,340,08 2,6-8,7
r. Jergalan 1,230,01 1,200,02 4,7-13,0
r.Chon-Kyzylsuu 1,230,01 1,200,02 4,3-11,2
r. Barskaun 1,140,01 1,080,07 7,2-2,7
r. Ak-Terek 1,230,01 1,240,02 0,42-47,0
r. Tamga 1,220,01 1,220,06 15,1-21,6
Spring in the alluvial
fan of r.Orukty
1,510,02 1,620,02 2,6
Borehole 3 v. Dzhergalan 1,200,02 1,320,06 0,6-15,6
Table 4. Comparison of uranium-isotope data from the test 1966-1970 and 2003-2004 (12)

Radioactive Waste

52
From radiometric survey we found that radiation levels in the Issyk-Kul basin, and the
village itself Kadji-Say and the adjacent territory is relatively low. However, this basin is the
natural uranium province, in some areas there is increased radiation background. We found
that the beach areas near the southern coast of v. Dzhenish and v. Ak-Terek (placer -
Thorium sands) the exposure dose is 30 to 60 mR/h, at least at some points reaches up to
420 mR/h (Table 5, Fig. 7-8).
Background areas were studied by measuring alpha-active isotopes in soils around Lake
Issyk-Kul. The level of background radiation on the surface of the industrial zone and the
tail short, in a residential area above the 2 time compared with the norms.
On isotopic composition of the soil (Bq/kg), extremely high levels of activity were detected.
In the area of the settlement v. Kara-Oy, the content of U238 and Pb210 were found to be 2
2.5 times higher in the upper (0-5 cm) soil layers. In the area of the settlements Ak-Terek and
Jenish, it was found that for all the thorium (Th) isotopes the level of radiation are higher
than any other studied locations by 2 to 10 order of magnitude (Table 6; Fig.9-10).

Sampling location

of water pH Gamma background


on the soil surface at a height of 1 m
Kara-Oi v. 18,5

8,5 150-200 mSv / h 100 mSv / h


Cholpon-Ata t. 18,8

8,6 200 mSv / h 150 - 220 mSv / h
Bulan-Sogotu v. 17,5

8,15 150 mSv / h 100 mSv / h


Kichi Ak-Suu r. 13,2

7,94 160 mSv / h 150-170 mSv / h


Tuip r. 18,8

8,12 170 mSv / h 140 mSv / h


Kara-kol r. 15,8

8,05 180 mSv / h 150-210 mSv / h


Ak-Terek v. 17,5

8,24 470 mSv / h 420 mSv / h


Table 5. The level of exposure dose in the Issyk-Kul basin

Fig. 7. Tailing after the rain

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

53

Fig. 8. The tailings from the bottom

Sampling
location
Layer
cm
Activity of soils by isotope, Bq / kg
U-238

Ra-226 Pb-210 Th-228 Ra-228

+/-

+/-

+/-

+/-

+/-
Kara-Oi 0-5 71,8 12,7 35,1 3,9 147,4 13,0 39,5 2,2 35,2 8,8
5-10 50,8 7,3 37,7 3,4 64,6 11,4 49,0 1,9 60,1 7,5
10-15 44,0 1,7 35,1 3,2 50,1 7,2 45,6 1,8 52,3 3,5
15-20 51,7 7,4 46,1 3,5 50,2 7,7 49,9 1,9 53,6 7,7
Kichi-Ak-
suu
0-6 71,5 14,3 51,0 3,4 88,5 18,4 69,1 3,6 72,4 7,2
6-11 52,1 6,5 43,2 3,1 71,7 10,2 43,2 3,3 59,2 19,7
11-20 54,9 7,3 45,4 3,5 68,6 7,6 64,3 3,8 64,1 7,5
Ak-Terek
sand
0-5 260,0 30,0 103,0 8,0 169,0 30,0 915,0 57 846,0 70,0
Table 6. Background values for alpha-active isotopes in soils around Lake. Issyk-Kul and
thorium sands
Soil and ground tailings - in the upper layer of soil bulk (0-20 cm) of uranium from 1.1 to
2,6 10
-6
g/g, with the depth of the element increases - up to 3,0 10
-6
g/g. Most of the
uranium concentration was noted in the central zone of tailings: in the upper layer of soil
- 4,2 10
-6
g/g in the bottom (at depths of 40-60 cm) - 35,0 10
-6
g/g, which is 8.3 times
more than in the upper horizons.
The vegetation is characterized by the province following associations: xerophytic shrub-,
sagebrush-efimerovymi deserts, thorny (Akantalimon alatavsky, bindweed tragacanth). The
vegetation cover is sparse, the project covering ranges from 5 to 10% and only in some areas

Radioactive Waste

54

Fig. 9. Dosimeter research.

Fig. 10. Local cattle pastured
up to 50%. The uranium content in different types of wormwood (Artemisia) in the tailings
relatively high in relation to the region as a whole - 0,03-0,04 10
-6
g/g. Representatives of the
legume (Salicaceae) - Astragalus (Astragalus) and sweet clover (Melilotus) contain up to 0,09
10
-6
g/g, while the grass (Poaceae) - a fire roofing (Bromus tectorum) uranium contained in
twice to 0,17 10
-6
g/g. According Bykovchenko J.G. (3) these types of plants can serve as a
land-improving plant for reobiletation tailings. According to the results of our studies the
percentage of uranium in the province of plants Kaji-Sai is from 0,17 to 4.0 10
-4
%.

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

55
Consequently there is reason to say that most of the plants Kaji-Says region have high uranium
content in comparison with other territories in the region. Growth of plants in an environment
with high concentrations of uranium is not only accompanied by changes in their biological
productivity, but also causes morphological variability in particular: the splitting of Astragalus
leaf blade, Peganum garmaly instead of the usual five petals it was noted 6-7 and part of their
split, and the black grate observed significant morphological changes - low-growing form with
branched inflorescences instead of straight single arrows (5, 10, 13) (Fig.11-12).

Fig. 11. Straight from the top of the tailings

Fig. 12. Color mosaic of plant leaves Iris family (Iridaceae) species-Iris songarica Schrenk

Radioactive Waste

56
Currently, surface water eroded slopes adjacent to the tailing of relief, ground ash dump,
the protective coating surface of the tailings piles and rocks. Diversion of surface water
systems tailings are partially destroyed preserved, due to changes in drainage conditions
due to existing buildings and structures do not provide normal drainage of surface water.
Fences tailings destroyed, the network of groundwater monitoring is absent.
4.3 Uranium deposits of settlement
Min-Kush (Tura-Kavak) are at an altitude of about 2000 m in the basin of the r. Min-Kush. The
population of urban settlement. Min-Kush at present is 4760 persons. In this region there are 4
tailing of radioactive materials - the volume of 1.15 thousand m
3
, an area of 196.5 thousand m
2
,
and 4 mountain damps (substandard ore, there is no data on the volume) and the whole tail is
a flat, land located on slopes up to 25-40 between the mountains. Ore complex operated from
1963 to 1969. After closing all the tailings of the uranium production was inhibited.
Currently, because of the timing of repairs and maintenance, there is a destruction of
individual defenses and surface areas. The most dangerous are tailing "Tuyuc-Suu" and
"Taldy-Bulak." Tailings "Tuyuc-Suu" is located in line with the same river. The total volume
of reclaimed tailings - 450 000 m
3
, their area - 3,2 hectares. According to the results of
radiometric survey the exposure dose at the surface of the tailings - 25-35 mR/h, locally -
150 mR/h. The total radio activity of nuclides in the disposal of the tail material - 1555 Ci.
To skip the reinforced concrete built river bypass channel is now part of ferro-concrete bypass
channel structures destroyed, there was differential settlement surface tailings, formed locally
closed injury, do not provide a flow of surface waters: a protective coating in some places
broken excavation, fences and signs forbidding destroyed. The tailings are located in an area
prone to mudslides. Possible violation of the water drainage and destruction of the tailings
with the removal of the tail of material in the river Kokomeren and Naryn, then - in Toktogul
and the Fergana valley. There has been a movement of an ancient landslide threat of overlap
Tuyuk-Suu river and the destruction of the road to tailing (Fig. 13-14).
The radiometric survey of the exposure dose of gamma radiation at various sites of uranium
tailings Min-Kush, showed from 27 to 60 mR/h, but at some points is high. For example the
tailing Taldy-Bulak - 554 - 662 mR/h (Table 7). In general, the soils of Min-Kush
geochemical province largely enriched by uranium, as far as concentration of uranium in
them is 5-6 times higher than in other soils of Kyrgyzstan.

Name of areas Radiation background in mR/h
Min-Kush village 27,0-28,0
Tailings Tuyuk-Suu gate 27,5-28,0
60,0-61,0
The site- 21(where miners lived) 32,0-32,5
Tailings Taldy-Bulak 554 - 662
Water from the tunnels 61,0-61,5
Hotel Rudnik 60,0-61,0
Table 7. The level of background radiation in a uranium province of Min-Kush

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

57

Fig. 13. Arrangement of uranium tailings storage Tuyuk-Suu in the village of Min-Kush

Fig. 14. A landslide in the lower portions of tailing
The soil cover neighborhoods Min-Kush presented, as indicated above, sub-alpine soils of
steppe and meadows. The uranium content here, in the middle of the profile ranges - from
3,3 to 17,5 10
-6
g/g is relatively high. Moderate pollution (great danger) in the area located
above the processing plant where the uranium content in the soil reaches the surface - 30-35
10-6 g / g, indicating that the local pollution of this area.
In all soil profiles high concentration of uranium observed in the horizon of 20-40 cm (15-
20,0 10
-6
g/g). In the adjacent - Kochkor valley where the soils are mountain-valley light
brown the uranium content in the range 3,0-5,0 10
-6
g/g. Humus to a certain extent helps
to perpetuate the uranium in the soil apparently is in the process of sorption of uranium by
organic matter of soil and the formation of uranyl humates.

Radioactive Waste

58
We have also studied the radiation background in some village homes. V. Min-Kush (Table
8) and measurement results showed that in homes, compared to the MPC, the background
radiation slightly increased (2 times) and therefore requires specific measures to reduce. The
main reasons for the slight increase in background radiation provided cases of using waste
ashes from the local coal for the construction needs.

Gamma-ray background: in the attic
0,97mcZv/h 22%
0,88 mcZv/h 20%
0,78 mcZv/h 20%
0,73 mcZv/h 20%
Inside appartment 6, in the hall
Bedroom - - the floor Kitchen floor
0,76 mcZv/h 20%
0,65 mcZv/h 20%
0,75 mcZv/h 20%
0,63 mcZv/h 20%
0,69 mcZv/h 20%0,
69 mcZv/h 20%
Bedroom - the ceiling Kitchen ceiling
0,72 mcZv/h 20
0,66 mcZv/h 22%
0,79 mcZv/h 22%
0,57 mcZv/h 10%
0,80 mcZv/h 10%
0,71 mcZv/h 10%
Table 8. The level of radiation background in the residential of v. Min-Kush (17 Square, st.
Zhusup, Building 10, Apt. 6)
Considered several options for security of stored waste:
Dismantling and transport the tailings to a safer place;
Repair of hydraulic structures and constant maintenance of their working condition
over a long period of use (thousands of years);
Conducting sanitation radioecological studies and measures to reduce the exposure
dose in dwellings.
4.4 Uranium-technogenic provinces Shekaftar
The mine operated from 1946 to 1957 year at this area and also 8 dumps located here. In the
dumps warehousing about 700 000 m
3
of low-level radioactive rocks and ores substandard.
In the immediate vicinity are houses with gardens. The main pollutants are elements of the
uranium series. The average gamma-ray background is 60-100 mR/h on the anomalous
areas - up to 300 mR/h. All damps are not re-cultured (Fig. 15).
The material of which is used by local people for household needs. Damp number 5 located
on the bank of river Sumsar intense urged by its waters. The lack of vegetation on the
surface contributes to the development of wind erosion and surface runoff material
stockpiles and distribute them not only to the territory Shekaftar item, but also in adjacent
territories of Fergana valley.
A more extensive destruction of stockpiles fall down cross-border contamination of the
territory of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

59

Fig. 15. The not re-cultured dumps in the region of Shakaftar
Bringing the dumps in a safe condition requires the following emergency operations:
strengthening the river banks Sumsar;
re-culturing of land dumps;
restoration of fences,
the installation of warning signs.
4.5 Ak-Tuz technogenic provinces of rare and radioactive metals
Ak-Tuz technogenic provinces of rare and radioactive metals are located in the Chui region
of KR in the upper part valley river Kichi-Kemin and river basin Chu. The terrain - a
complex, mountainous. Absolute altitude exceeds 2000 m above sea level.
The ore field of the region is characterized by an extremely complex structure, and covers
about 30 occurrences of lead and rare metals. It is widely developed within a multiplicative
and disjunctive offenses manifested repeatedly throughout geological history, ranging from
the Precambrian. Within the deposit an oxidized sulfide ores of metals were developed. In
industrial concentrations established the presence of: Pd, Zn, Sn, Mn, Cu.
In the region of the Ak-Tuz are 4 tailings. Stored 3900 000 m
3
of waste ores, which occupy
117 000 m
2
, the average gamma-ray background is 60-100 mR/h in the abnormal areas of up
to 1000 mR/h (Fig.16-17).
From 1995 to 1999. work to maintain the waterworks were not conducted. In 2000 activities
were conducted waterworks tailings number 1 and 3. There is intense erosion of the
protective layer tail number 1 and wind erosion surface tailings number 3 with the
destruction of the surrounding areas.

Radioactive Waste

60

Fig. 16. Tailings number 2

Fig. 17. Territory after the development
According to the radiometric measurements the average exposure dose of gamma radiation
in part of Ak-Tuz is 21,3 33,0 mR/h and around the village within radius of 1 km 28.8
mR/h. The gamma-ray background in the processing plant is 73,3 mR/h in the sump - 720-
740 (in places up to 900) mR/h and near the mines (career) - 50,0-72,0 mR/h. Natural
gamma-ray background in the canyons of the Kichi-Kemin is 30,0 mR/h.
The soil cover of the province is typical for middle mountain areas of Kyrgyzstan. Ak-Tuz
mining and metallurgical combine mountain-meadow black earth subalpine soil. The
texture of the soil has medium and high clay content character. Humus in the upper levels
are between 4-8%. Soil reaction (pH) ranges from neutral to slightly acidic and is 6,5-6,8 to 7-
7,0. Humus horizon of these soils are rich in potassium (2.2 to 2.6 %.) Contains of 0.35%
nitrogen and 0.15-0.30% phosphorus. In the sump pH close to neutral medium (pH = 7)

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

61
above and below the sump level is the same. Eh - in the region settling tank is moderately
increased (210), below the sump decreases.
Results of the analysis of the upper soil layer (up to 0 - 20 cm) are presented in Table 9. The
table shows that the maximum concentration of lead found in the area of 500 m below the
lagoon (3108,4 415 mg/kg), followed by factories in the area of 1 km (2686,1 287,7
mg/kg) and 4 tailing (1937,0 325,4 mg/kg), which is increased to 10 times compared to
other sites, and in relation to the MPC to 200 times.
Zinc concentration increased to 10 times compared to other sites, as compared with up to 15
times MPC. For example, in the factory up to 1 km (720,62 59 mg/kg), the tail region of 3
(818,90 26 mg/kg), 4 tail (756,20 57 mg/kg) and 2 tail (652 70 87,1 mg/kg).

# Sampling locations Pb mg/kg Zn mg/kg
1 1 km upstream from v.Ak-Tuz (the right
bank of the river from the road 60 m)
621,1417,82 104,8317,82
2 Ak Tuz v. (center, from a point-600 m) 2057,5339,4 678,7930,3
3 In the area of the factory up to 1 km 2686,1287,7 720,6259
4 In the area of weight 398,238,2 128,311,3
5 200 m from the factory (above) 436,745 76,835,3
6 In the area of tank 453,2 37,3 631,1670
7 500 m below the lagoon from the factory 3108,4415 91,6833
8 In the region of 2 tailings 370,039 652,7087,1
9 In the region of 3 tailing 331,034 818,9026
10 In the region of 4 tailings from the road
above 450-500 m
1937,0325,4 756,2057
Table 9. The average content of heavy metals in the soil cover Ak-Tuz polymetallic province
Thus we can say that in the village of Ak-Tuz and its surroundings the level of gamma-ray
background is almost within the natural. Near the mine (quarry) and in the processing
plant, where the extraction and processing of ore containing rare earth metals and
radioactive thorium, the average exposure dose of gamma radiation exceeds the natural rate
of several times, especially Pb and Zn. In unfenced and located near the settlement of the
sump in the tens or hundreds of times, which adversely affects of the ecology region. These
objects are contained except for radioactive thorium, heavy metal salts. In the event of
failure of tailings can take away the tail of material in the basin of Chui river and pollution
across national boundaries.
4.6 Kara-Balta mining ore plant for production of oxide, oxide of uranium
The plant's capacity to 2,000 tons of uranium a year, in operation since 1955. Tailings mining
and metallurgical plant the plain type is located 1,5 km from the town of Kara-Balta, 2380
000 m
2
area, maximum height of 35 m. The net capacity 63,5 million m
3
is filled with 54.4%.
Currently 32,5 million m
3
of waste stored, AC power is 84600 Ci.

Radioactive Waste

62
The main polluting components - uranium series elements. Damp height to 12 m.
Completed closed drainage to the production and wells to 35% of the stacked protective
plastic film, the rest of the shield consists of loam and clay. There is a technical device
abstraction to capture contaminated groundwater from five wells. There is a regular
monitoring of groundwater. In the area of tailings maximum contamination up to 3-4 g/l
outside the sanitary protection zone at the MPC. In conducting radiometric survey we found
that in the tailings level 1 and 2 background radiation is much increased (from 4 to 20 times)
compared to the other points. The radiation background at the tail KGRK and surrounding
areas from our data is 25 mR/h (the town of Kara-Balta, 200 m from the SPZ) to 550 mR/h
(at the base of tail).
5. Conclusion
In the complex environmental problems in the country first place put forward the problem
of safely storing large quantities of waste mining. The accumulation of significant amounts
of radioactive waste resulted from the activities of mining and processing enterprises of the
uranium industry 40-70s. Storage in open dumps, tailings and not enough trained squares
leads to an intense weathering of toxic substances into the atmosphere, their penetration
into the groundwater, soil, surface water and adverse impact on the environment and
human health.
Many of the tailings and dumps, radioactive waste disposal in the border areas are in critical
condition and cause a risk of contamination and radiation exposure in the territory of
Kyrgyzstan, as well as possibly other Central Asian republics. The main causes of
environmental stress in the region due to bad choice of storage sites and storage facilities,
short-term considerations of economic gain, a low level of geological engineering survey
and design lack of foresight and taking into account the effects of technological impacts on
the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems. Many of the tailings were formed within
settlements.
With the recent surge in industrial and natural catastrophic events, landslides, mudflows,
erosion, the threat of radioactive pollution of the environment increases significantly. There
is a threat to the health of people living near areas with high levels of radiation and
radioactivity in the environment. On many dangerous areas, lack of basic information on the
radioactivity content of tailings is not being monitored due to lack of funding and related
equipment on the ground.
The main radiological concern in the country is the restoration of plant-soil (gardening) and
the bare heaps tailing, protection from the intense erosion of the protective layer of tailings.
Thus the uranium tailings are poorly protected and poorly understood features of life in
different organisms (biological response to the increased content of radionuclide, the state of
microbial complex and human).
Estimated cost of MES KR (approximate) of the reclamation and rehabilitation work only on
the tailings will be more than - $ 40 million dollars USA, including:
1. v.Maili-Suu tail. Landslides - 16.8 million USA
2. v. Min-Kush tail. - 4.6 million dollars USA
3. v. Ak-Tuz tail. - 1.6 million USA

Problems of Uranium Waste and Radioecology in Mountainous Kyrgyzstan Conditions

63
4. v. Kaji-Say tail. - 3.6 million USA
5. v. Sumsar tail. - 5.0 million USD
6. v. Shekaftar tail. - 1.5 million USA
7. v. Soviet tail tail. - 2.0 million USA
8. v. Orlovka - 3.0 million USA
9. etc.
Therefore, the Government and the President of the KR pay special attention to these
problems and made some steps in this direction. In 2009 the President appealed to the UN
Secretary-General, in 2010, the European Union with a request to provide financial and
technological support in addressing this issue in Kyrgyzstan and the region.
1. In general, the overall level of external radiation background in Kyrgyzstan is normal
except for some man-made and natural areas.
2. Increased radioactive anomaly in the man-made sites marked by three types:
- Natural radioactivity anomalies associated with layers of loose deposits of
radioactive brown coal of Jurassic age.
- Man-made anomalies, hundreds of times higher than background, are confined to
fenced concrete wall piles of gray fine-grained material.
- Activity of man-made anomalies in the landfill is ten times higher than
background.
3. Growth of plants in an environment with high concentrations of uranium is not only
accompanied by changes in their biological productivity, but also causes morphological
variability - Astragalus borodinii, Peganum garmala, Potentilla argentea
4. It is important to educate the population.
6. References
[1] Aitmatov I.T., Torgoev I.A., Aleshin J.G. Geo-environmental problems in the mining
complex in Kyrgyzstan //Science and New Technologies.-1997.-#1, P.81-95.
[2] Aleksakhin R.M. Problems of Radioecology: The evolution of ideas. Results. M:
Agricultural, 2006. 880 p.
[3] Bykovchenko J.G., Bykova E.I., BelekovT.B. etc. Man-caused uranium contamination of
biosphere Kyrgyzstan. - Bishkek, 2005.169 p.
[4] GOST 0.6-90. Radiometric technique express determination by -radiation volume and
specific activity of radionuclide in water, soil, food, livestock and crop production.
- Introduced. 1990-18-06. - M.: Standards Press, 1990. - 35.
[5] Djenbaev B.M. Geochemical ecology of terrestrial organisms.-Bishkek, 2009. 240 p.
[6] Djenbaev B.M Kaldybaev B.K., Zholboldiev B.T. Radiobiogeo-chemical estimate the
current state of the biosphere reserve of the Issyk-Kul (the Kirghiz Republic)
//International conference "Modern Problems of Geoecology and biodiversity
conservation". - Cholpon-Ata. 2009. P 77-81.
[7] Djenbaev B.M., Zholboldiev B.T. The study of the natural uranium isotopes and their
relation to uranium biogeochemical provinces of the Issyk-Kul. //Proceedings. # 1.
Bishkek. 2010. P. 67-72.
[8] Zyrin N.G .Methodical recommendations on field and laboratory studies of soils and
plants under the control of environmental pollution metals/ N.G. Zyrin. - Moscow:
Gidrometeoizdat, 1981. 108 p.

Radioactive Waste

64
[9] Karpov Y.A., Savostin A.P. Sampling methods and sample preparation. -M.: Bean, lab-
knowledge. 2003. - P.68-79.
[10] Kovalsky V.V., Vorotnitskaya I.E., Lekarev V.S,. Nikitina E.V. Uranium biogeochemical
food chains in the Issyk-Kul. Proceedings of the Biogeochemical Laboratory. -
Moscow "Nauka", 1968, XII. P.25-53.
[11] Mamytov A.M. Soil resources and land registry issues Kyrgyz Republic. - Bishkek:
Kyrgyzstan, 1996. -240 p.
[12] Matychenkov V.E., Tuzova E.V. The stability of the isotopic composition of uranium in
the waters of Issyk-Kul basin /The study of hydrodynamics of Lake. Issyk-Kul,
using isotope techniques. Part 1. 2005. P.133-137.
[13] The vegetation of the Kirghiz SSR (map), M. 1:500000. M. GUGK, 1992 (by Popova L.I.,
Moldoyarov A., Cheremnykh M.A.).
[14] Torgoev I.A., Aleshin.J.G. Geoecology and waste mining complex in Kyrgyzstan.-
Bishkek, Ilim, 2009. 240 p.
[15] Djenbaev B.M., Shamshiev A.B., Jolboldiev B.T., Kaldybaev B.K. Jalilova A. A. The
biogeochemistry of uranium in natural-technogenic provinces of the Issik-Kul
/Uranium, Mining and Hydrogeology, Technical University Bergakademie,
German, Freiberg, 2008. P.673-680.
4
Environmental Migration
of Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu)
in Accidentally Contaminated Areas
of the Southern Urals
V. V. Kostyuchenko, A. V. Akleyev, L. M. Peremyslova,
I. Ya. Popova, N. N. Kazachonok and V. S. Melnikov
Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine, Chelyabinsk,
Russian Federation
1. Introduction
In the late 1940s, the facility Mayak Production Association (Mayak PA) for weapon grade
plutonium production was put into operation in the vicinity of the town of Kyshtym. The
technology used in plutonium production involved generation of high-level waste. A number
of accidents that occurred at the plant were associated with inadequate radioactive waste
storage techniques. In 1949-1956, radioactive waste with total activity of about 1.8 10
17
Bq (4.9
MCi) was discharged into the Techa River which resulted in contamination of all river system
components. Currently, at late time after the beginning of contamination,
90
Sr and
137
Cs still
remain essential dose-forming radionuclides on the Techa River. In 1957, the East-Urals
Radioactive Trace (EURT), and in 1967 the Karachai Radioactive Trace (KRT), were formed. A
distinguishing feature of the radionuclide composition of the releases on the EURT at late time
is the prevalence of
90
Sr and a minimum content of
137
Cs. The composition of radioactive dust
on the 1967-Trace is represented primarily by Cs and Sr isotopes in less accessible biological
forms compared to those observed on the EURT (Fig. 1). In contaminated areas, measurements
of soil contamination levels, analysis of the patterns of radionuclide migration, changes in their
biological accessibility, transfer of radionuclides from soil to vegetation, milk and vegetable
produce have been conducted on regular basis. Specific activity of
90
Sr measured in cross
sections of the river at most of the riverside villages has decreased to permissible values since
the start of observations in 1960. In flooded areas of the bank line, the processes of deepening
of radionuclides into soil and a more uniform distribution of radionuclide contents over the
soil layer at a depth of 1.5 m were observed. Mean content of
90
Sr in milk produced in the
riverside villages has declined to permissible values. On EURT and KRT, of the total
radionuclides contained in the soils, 80% remain deposited in the upper 20-cm layer.
Biologically accessible and insoluble forms of
90
Sr and insoluble forms of
137
Cs are prevalent.
Reduction in radionuclide content in milk has taken place over the first 1-2 years due to
deepening of radionuclides into soil and a decrease in their biological accessibility. The main
factor that caused cleansing of radionuclides from food chains was radioactive decay and
reduced biological accessibility of radionuclides in soils.

Radioactive Waste

66
1.1 Natural-climatic characteristics of the affected territory
As a result of the accidents at the Mayak AP, a number of rivers, water basins and lands of
the southern and middle zone of the Trans-Urals region were contaminated. The EURT
occupies over 3/4 of the forest and forest-steppe part of the Trans-Urals region where there
are numerous lakes, swamps, all kinds of depressions and pits, wood lands and forest
outliers which account for non-uniformity of radioactive fallouts. The most common are
chernozemic-meadowy and meadowy-chrnozemic soils. The Trans-Urals region has a
typical continental climate which is formed by the air masses coming from the Atlantic
Ocean. The wind conditions of the region are characterized by prevalence of westerly winds.
Whirlwinds are not an infrequent phenomenon. Species of wood prevailing in the forest
zone include pines and the main hardwood species birches and aspens. The floodplain
vegetation includes grassy and woody-shrubby species. Birches and willows are
encountered in the floodplain. Miscellaneous herbs are characteristic of the Techa floodplain
in the middle and lower reaches of the river.

Fig. 1. Schematic map of radiation accidents in the Southern Urals
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

67
1.2 Methods of the study
The key contaminants of the environment at late phase of the accident are represented by a
small number of radionuclides:
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu and a few other. Samples of water, bottom
sediments, aquatic vegetation, soil and grass were collected at 8 control cross sections on the
Techa River in accordance with conventional standard methods of sample drawing. (Basic
Requirements, 1999, in Russian [ , 1999]). Samples of bottom
sediments were collected at a depth of 60 cm using metallic tubes, the volume of the samples
ranged from 20 to 100 cm
3
. To allow assessment of the distribution and deposits of
radionuclides in floodplain soil, samples were drawn at a depth of up to 150 cm. Samples of
grass were taken from the area of 0.25 m
2
. Water was sampled at a depth of 10-50 cm using a
sampling device. Measurements of radioactive contamination in the riverside villages and
the adjacent areas, contents of radionuclides in food products, migration of activity from soil
to food products, horizontal and vertical migration of radionuclides in soils were conducted
In the EURT zone. Processing and preparation of food products and other samples to be
used in a corresponding assay were conducted using the generally accepted methodology.
Measurements of
137
Cs and other gamma-emitting radionuclides were performed using the
gamma-spectrometric method.
90
Sr concentration in samples was measured by the
radiochemical separation of daughter
90
Y using monoisoochthyl-methyl ether of phosphonic
acid (1966) and a subsequent measurement of its activity in a small-background -metric
installation analogous to UMF-2000 based on a flame photometric control of strontium
carrier yield.
90
Sr measurement error accounts for 20% at activities of <0.7 Bq/g, and for 10%
at higher activity levels. The range of measured values was 0.02-110
5.
Bq/dm
3
.
The method for measuring
239
Pu involves increasing concentration of plutonium ions, and
cleaning of isotopes using anion-exchange tar followed up by electro-chemical precipitation
on steel disks. Measurements of -activity were performed in an -spectrometric
installation. Identification and measurements of specific activity of plutonium isotopes was
conducted using an indicator mark (
236
Pu or
242
Pu) with a known activity ranging from 1.5 to
110
5
Bq/kg, dm
3
preliminarily introduced into the sample.
2. Techa River
2.1 Hydrographic characteristics of the Techa River area
The Techa River basin catchment area is situated between the mountainous Urals region and
the Tobol River valley. The water from the Kasli-Irtyash lake system is flowing through the
Techa River. After the construction of the Mayak plant was started, a cascade of industrial
water reservoirs (IWB) was built for storing low-level liquid waste. In 1956 reservoir B-10,
and in 1963-1964 reservoir B-11 were built. Since 1966, the IWRs have been functioning as
stagnant water reservoirs. Since 1965, the Techa River was conditionally assumed to rise
from the dam of reservoir B-11 (Fig. 2). The drainage of the Kasli-Irtyash lake system takes
place through the bypass canals (BC).
From dam P-11 to the village of Muslyumovo, the river flows through a wide valley with
numerous swamps. The floodplain is mainly composed of peaty soils. The river bottom is
peaty-silty and uneven. Along the river stretch from the village of Muslyumovo and further
on, the river flows through a flat even country. The surface of the floodplain is meadowy,
formed by sandy-loam soils. The bottom of the river is sandy, miry and loamy at places. In

Radioactive Waste

68
the lower reaches of the river, the width of the valley ranges from 240 m to 2 km. The
floodplain is meadowy, loamy, usually flooded during high water. The watercourse is
moderately winding. The river is mostly supplied with snow water. The swampy floodplain
of the upper reaches retain a considerable amount of thaw water. The rivers tributaries are
water-short. Floods usually occur in April. Low water lasts till mid-October. Water
discharge during the low water periods increases along the river length from 0.84 m
3
/d near
Muslyumovo to 2.62 m
3
/d near the village Klyuchevskoye. The coefficient of ground water
supply accounts for 10-30% of the total river drainage.

Fig. 2. Schematic map of the Techa cascade of reservoirs
The contamination of the Techa River was caused by the unavailability of reliable
technology for reprocessing and storage of liquid radioactive waste (LRW). The
approximate total releases into the Techa River over the period 1949-1953 were as follows:
89
Sr+
140
240 kCi,
90
Sr -320
kCi
,
137
Cs -350 kCi, REE 740 kCi,
95
Zr+
95
Nb 37 kCi,
103
Ru+
106
Ru
kCi (Glagolenko Yu.G., 1966).
2.2 Radioactive contamination of water
During the initial period, the studies of radioactive contamination of water were based on
measurements of -emitting nuclide activity. The most well-systematized data were
presented in (Marey A.N., 1959). The highest level of -activity was observed in water in
1951; it was decreasing appreciably with advancing years and increasing distance from the
site of releases (Fig. 2). The activity of -emitters in water was significantly lower. The
dependences governing the changes in the concentration of these emitters are similar to
those identified for -emitters. Reduced concentrations of radionuclides in the river water
with increasing distance from the release site were accounted for primarily by the dilution
processes in the water flow, sedimentation and radionuclide sorption by bottom sediments.
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

69

Fig. 3. Changes in volumetric activity of -emitting radionuclides in Techa River water as a
function of distance from LRW release site, 1952 (Marey A.N., 1959).
Nuclide composition of the river water sampled in the middle and lower reaches was for the
first time determined in 1951 (Table 1). It was established that a significant proportion of
activity of the radionuclides cesium, yttrium, cerium and plutonium is transported by the
river stream down the rivercourse on clayey and sandy particles. The same applies to
zirconium and niobium. The radionuclides strontium and ruthenium are transferred with
river stream mostly in the dissolved state. The basic source of inflow of suspended particles
is the surface-slope drainage from the catchment area.

Village
name
activity in
water, Bq/l
90
Sr
137
Cs REE
Brodokalmak 3.110
4
54.2 14.0 34.0
Bisserovo 1.710
4
50.0 32.0 19.3
Pershinskoye 2.110
4
55.8 24.0 15.2
Table 1. Radiochemical composition of the river water as of 5.08.1951, %
The results of the researches conducted in 1963 showed that small amounts of radionuclides
(from 0.001 to 0.014%) (Yu.G. Mokrov, 2002) were carried by the bottom alluvium to the
Techa River.
The construction of the Techa cascade of water reservoirs for storing low-level sewage water
and re-directing medium-level waste to Karachai Lake resulted in reduced concentrations of
radionuclides in river water and bottom sediments. By that time, the radionuclides
90
Sr and
137
Cs became the most important contaminants of the Techa River. The long-term dynamics
of radionuclide content measured in river water (e.g., at Muslyumovo) up to 1990 was
characterized by persistent reduction in
90
Sr and
137
Cs concentration. Instability and

R
2
=
0,97
1
10
100
0 50 100 150 200 250
Distance from LRW release site, km
A
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

o
f

-
e
m
i
t
t
i
n
g

r
a
d
i
o
n
u
c
l
i
d
e
s

i
n

w
a
t
e
r
,

k
B
q
/
l


Radioactive Waste

70
periodical increases in radionuclide concentrations have been observed in river water (Fig.
4) since 1994. In addition to that,
90
Sr concentration is stably exceeding the currently
permissible level of 4.9 Bql
1
. Concentrations of
137
Cs in river water are less stable along the
watercourse (Fig. 5), but the values of the volumetric activity of this radionuclide does not
exceed the permissible concentration for drinking water (11 Bql
-1
), the role played by
137
Cs
in radiation exposure of the riverside population is not very significant.

Fig. 4. Specific activity of
90
Sr in water of the river stretch vis--vis Muslyumovo.


Fig. 5. Specific activity of
137
Cs in water of the river cross-section opposite Muslyumovo.
Data on contents of plutonium isotopes in Techa River water are scarce. Measurements of
specific activity of
238,239,240
Pu in river water was initiated by the URCRM researchers in 1993
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
0
20
40
60
80
100
Year
C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

o
f


9
0
S
r
,

B
q

l
-
1

1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
-0,5
0,0
0,5
1,0
1,5
2,0
2,5
3,0
3,5
4,0
4,5


Year
C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

o
f

1
3
7
C
s

,

B
q

l
-
1

Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

71
(Table 2). The main source of radioactive contamination of river water is the Techa cascade
of reservoirs. Additional contamination is accounted for by desorption of radionuclides
from the contaminated floodplain and the river bottom sediments.
In 2009, specific activity of tritium was for the first time determined in water of the Techa
river (Fig. 6). Presented in the figure are concentrations of
90
Sr and tritium in water of the
Techa River over its total length down to its confluence with the Isset River measured in
samples taken within a weeks time in August 2009.

Sampling site
Distance from
dam 11, km
Years
1994 2000 2002
Assanov Bridge 4,5 3.2 0.4 (3) 0.8 (2) 0.4 (2)
Chelyabinsk-
Yekaterinburg Bridge
14 3.1 0.8 (3) 0.46 0.2 (4) 1.5 (2)
Muslyumovo 40 3.1 1 (3) 0.14 (2) -
Brodokalmak 71 - - -
Russkaya Techa 95 0.3 (2) - -
Nizhnepetropav-
lovskoye
103 - 0.6 0.2 (3) -
Lobanovo 119 1.6 (2) 0.360.2 (3) -
Verkhnyaya 141 2.5 (1) 1.0 (2) -
Pershinskoye 170 2.7 (1) - -
Zatechanskoye 195 2.1 (2) 0.3 0.1 (4) -
Note: numbers of samples are given in brackets
Table 2. Specific activity of
238, 239, 240
Pu in Techa River water in 1994-2002, Bqm
-3

Fig. 6. Content of
90
Sr and
3
in water of the Techa River

Radioactive Waste

72
Concentrations of
90
Sr in water measured over the river length has changed from 12 to 1.6
Bq/l, tritium activity ranged from 140 to 17 Bq/l, which is 4-fold higher than the global
level. The mean value of
3
H/
90
Sr ratio in river water is 10.91.2. The total estimated carry-
over of
90
Sr with the Techa river run-off into the Isset River over the period from 1958
through 2001 amounted 2.21014 Bq (Yu.A. Izrael, 2000).

Zone
Volumetric activity (Bq l
-1
)
90
Sr
3
H
137
Cs
Range of
values
Mean Median
Range of
values
Mean Median
Range of
values
Mean Median
TCR 983-5149 3007 3162 763-5935 2881 3251 1.9-914.5 102.3 32.9
Techa River 3.8-32.9 14.6 11.8 31-263.2 129 116 0.028-2.4 0.39 0.17
Drained area 0.05-173.9 27 14.1

6-15.8 10.2 9.5 0.05-1.51 0.55 0.49
Tributaries 0.15-0.18 0.15 0.15 9.5-9.8 9.7 9.5 - - -
Table 3. Summarized statistical data on volumetric activities of
90
Sr,
3
H,
137
Cs in water bodies
of different origin
Table 3 shows summarized statistical data on volumetric activities of the radionuclides
measured in the Techa River, TCR, surface and ground waters of the catchment area in the
upper reaches of the river for the period from 2008 through 2010. In our subsequent
calculations, the median values of
90
Sr and
3
H were used for TCR water, as well as the
3
H/
90
Sr ratio equal to 1, median values of
90
Sr and
3
H for Techa River water,
3
H/
90
Sr
radioactivity ratio equal to 10, rounded median values of volumetric activity of
3
H equal to
10 Bq l
-1
in samples of surface and soil water taken in the catchment area of the upper
reaches of the river. Concentrations of radionuclides in water of the tributaries
corresponded to the background values obtained for contents of radionuclides in surface
waterways in the area influenced by the Mayak PA:
90
Sr - 0.15 Bq l
-1
,
3
H - 9.7 Bq l
-1
.
Concentrations of
137
Cs were found to be below the detectability level of activity for the
volumes sampled. The comparisons of volumetric activity values for
90
Sr and
3
H allowed
tracing a direct dependence of the concentrations in river as well as in TCR. The only
mechanism determining concentrations of
90
Sr in water is the process of intermix of waters
with different initial radionuclide concentrations in different proportions. Also, uranium
isotopes (
234
U,
238
U) were used as a radionuclide of reference in relation to
90
Sr (
234
U,
238
U).
Uranium was selected because, unlike
3
H, its isotopes represent ions dissolved in water, as
is
90
Sr (Mokrov Yu.G., 2000); and also because under oxidizing conditions characteristic of
surface waters, uranium existing in the form of uranyl-ion (UO
2
+2
) is weakly sorbed by
floodplain soils and the rivers bottom sediments. The difference between the values of the
ratio
3
H/
90
Sr for river and TCR waters (10 and 1) is accounted for by dilution of TCR
effluent seepage with bypass canal waters in the proportion 1 to 10.
In order to assess the role played by the catchment area of the upper reaches and the river
bottom sediments (0-40 km) in contamination of water with
90
Sr, we applied the two-
component mixing model (X
M
=X
A
f + X
B
(1-f), where X
M
is the end mixture, X
A
and X
B
are
components, and f is the compound coefficient) using mixture parameters obtained for
3
H.
3
H and
90
Sr volumetric activities were measured at cross-sections located at 3.5 km and
40 km from dam 11, respectively. The values of
90
Sr volumetric activities for waters flowing
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

73
into the river from the catchment area of the upper reaches range from 4.3 Bq L
-1
to 19.3 Bq l
-1
,
the average value amounting to 9.24 Bq l
-1
. It was concluded based on the calculations that
entry of 70% of the total activity of
90
Sr into the Techa watercourse results from TCR effluent
seepage drained through the bypass canal system. The proportion of
90
Sr activity
contributed by washing out of radionuclides from the floodplain and by desorption from
bottom sediments accounts for 30%.
2.3 Contamination of bottom sediments with
90
Sr and
137
Cs
According to the data of the first investigations, the highest concentrations of radionuclides
in bottom sediments were observed in the reaches close to the release site and in the area of
Assanov swamps (30 km from the release site). The lowest level of contamination was
registered over the last 40 km stretch down to the outfall. A large amount of activity was
accumulated in the surface layer (Table 4) (Glagolenko Yu.G., 1966).

Distance from the
release site, kn
Depth, cm
0-1 5-7 10-12
Release site 103045-486550 703-77071 262-62678
7 50098 8621 703
18 47101 16539 10730
33 6734 4625 37
48 1961 1184 59
78 2035 292 44
109 888 540 373
138 1221 355 222
186 255 215 133
223 307 252 -
Table 4. Specific -activity of bottom sediments, August 1952, kBqkg
-1
(Glagolenko Yu.G., 1966).


Distance from the dam 11, km
137
Cs Pu
1 2 3
1.8 27491 61
2.2 14874 33
3.8 45103 133
5.8 23199 27
6.7 7104 24
13.0 15392 57
14.0 17020 60
23.0 32190 78
41.0 666 4
44.0 8325 11
Table 5. Distribution of contamination density in bottom sediments along the length of the
river in 1991-1992, kBqm
-2


Radioactive Waste

74
It was established that radioactivity is best of all accumulated by silt and clay material,
while sandy soils manifest a lower rate of accumulation. It was demonstrated that
137
Cs and
plutonium isotopes were intensively sorbed by all varieties of soils.
90
Sr, too, is actively
sorbed by soils, but it easily enters into exchange reactions which determines its high
migration potential (Saurov M.M., 1968).
90
Sr and
137
Cs contamination densities in bottom
sediments in the early 1990s are shown in Table 5. During spring floods, silt sediments
contaminate the surface of the floodplain which maintains the high levels of contamination
of the flooded riverside valley. The levels of silt and water radionuclide contamination are
interdependent over the river course. The contents of radionuclides in silt and in water,
from dam 11 up to the river outfall are steadily decreasing (Figure 7). Specific activity of
137
Cs in silts is about 5-fold higher than in water, that of
90
Sr if 3-fold higher. Compared to
90
Sr,
137
Cs contamination densities for silts are about 2-fold higher over the total length of the
river.


Fig. 7.
90
Sr and
137
Cs contamination densities measured in Techa River silts at different
distances from dam 11.
Four decades after termination of intensive discharges of radioactive waste into the river,
radionuclides deposited in sandy and silty soils migrated to the depth of over 35 cm. The
results of the vertical distribution of the radionuclides of interest in the upper reaches of
the river are presented in Figures 8 and 9. Compared to
137
Cs, the distribution of
90
Sr in
the bottom soil profiles is more uniform. Maximum values of contamination densities for
these radionuclides are in general observed in 0-10 cm layers of soil.
137
Cs is characterized
by a more dramatic decline of contamination density values in lower layers of soil (at the
depth of 20-35 cm). In the upper reaches, additional inflow of radionuclides due seepage
from TCR and washout of radioactivity from the lands adjacent to the river is observed; in
the mid-stream area the contribution of desorption processes from the upper layer is
larger.
With distance from the release site, the proportion of exchangeable and mobile forms of
90
Sr
is increasing, on the contrary, the proportion of poorly-accessible forms of
90
Sr is decreasing.
0 50 100 150 200
0,01
0,1
1
10
100
1000
137
Cs
90
Sr
S
p
e
c
i
f
i
c

a
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

o
f

s
i
l
t
,

k
B
q

m
2

Distance, km
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

75
2.4 Contamination of the floodplain with
90
Sr and
137
Cs
Spring overflows of the Techa, and particularly the flood of 1951 contributed to intensive
radioactive contamination of the riverside area. The studies of the contents of radioactive
substances in floodplain soils started in 1951. The results obtained allowed an insight into
the patterns and intensity of the riverside contamination (A.N. Marey, 1959). The width of
the floodplain where radioactive contamination was detected did not usually exceed
150-200 m (Table 6). In the upper reaches, in the Assanov swamps area, the overflow
reaches 3000 m. A consequent decrease in the levels of floodplain contamination with
increasing distance from the release site, and a decrease in the
137
Cs/
90
Sr ratio should also
be noted (Table 7).

Fig. 8. Distribution of radionuclides along the depth of sandy bottom sediments in the upper
reaches of the river.


Fig. 9. Distribution of radionuclides along the depth of silty-clayey bottom sediments in the
upper reaches of the river.

Radioactive Waste

76
Distance from the release
site, km
Bank
End of the inundable
floodplain
Release site 7548 141
18 2442 18
33 407 22
48 74 15
78 481 4
105 200 60
109 63 33
128 33 4
138 4 23
212 3 22
Table 6. Specific -activity in the surface layer in 1952 - 1954, kBqkg
-1
(Marey A.N., 1959)
Changes in the width of the riverside area is, as a rule, determined by soil relief; maximum
concentrations of radionuclides are registered in lowland areas.

Distance from
dam11, km
137
Cs
90
Sr
137
Cs /
90
Sr
67 210 150 1.4
102 95 60 1.5
135 80 80 1.0
152 35 100 0.3
237 5 42 0.1
Table 7. Changes in contents of
137
Cs and
90
Sr in floodplain soils along the river course,
Cikm
-2
(Marey A.N., 1959)
The first maximum level of floodplain contamination density is observed in the area
of Assanov swamps: from dam 11 to the distance of 7.5 km. The second peak takes place
in lower reaches, at the distance of 37 km from the dam in the area of Muslyumovo
swamps. In these areas, the incessant winter run-off of radioactive substances with TCR
waters is accumulated. Most thoroughly the floodplain soils are washed during high
waters. Surface-downslope waters wash upper layers of the soil, flood waters wash upper
layers of the flooded river bank, and ground waters wash deeper layers of the floodplain
soils.
With distance along the watercourse, the levels of floodplain contamination with
137
Cs are
appreciably decreasing. In the swamps of the upper reaches, the values of contamination
with the radionuclides of interest amount to 150-550 Cikm
-2
, the values for the middle
reaches are 20-30 Ci km
-2
, and the respective value for the area close to the estuary is 5
Cikm
-2
. The dynamics of reduction in
90
Sr contamination density values assumes a more
monotonous character. The results of measurements of
137
Cs and
90
Sr contamination
densities conducted by us in the floodplain in 2005 are presented in figure 10. It can be seen
that the level of floodplain contamination with
137
Cs is higher than the respective value
obtained for
90
Sr, with the exclusion of the last locality (village Zatechanskoye).
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

77

Fig. 10.
137
Cs and
90
Sr contamination densities in the floodplain along the watercourse, kBqm
-2

The study of
137
Cs distribution by layers of the floodplain along the watercourse (Table 8)
has demonstrated that the upper 20 cm layer is contaminated to the highest extent.
However, the measurements conducted in the village Zatechenskoye where sandy soils
predominate, the concentrations of radionuclides in the lower and surface layers are actually
the same. As has been shown by measurements at most of the sampling sites, the upper 0-5
cm soil layer contains a smaller amount of
137
Cs as compared to the underlying layer. This
fact indicates that there has been no intensive contamination of the floodplain with
137
Cs in
the recent years. An extreme non-uniformity in the distribution of
90
Sr by soil profiles (Table
9) in different reaches of the river can be accounted for by different physical-chemical and
morphological properties of the floodplain soils.

Sampling site
Distance from
dam 11, km
Position of layers, cm
0-5 5-20 20-40 40-60
Assanov bridge 4.5 1438.7 1011.0 1595.3 1059
Maloye Taskino 12 230.7 61.1 7.9 6.9
Nadyrov bridge 18.8 593.2 10084.4 1281.3 439.0
6 km below
Nadyrov bridge
24.5 129.6 28.4 53.7 44.9
Buslyumovo
swamp
34.7 660 62.1 784.3 354
Muslyumovo 40 277.1 95.4 17.7 10.9
Nizhne-
Petropavlovskoye
103 8.1 65.4 19.3 6.4
Zatechenskoye 195 11.3 99.8 31 101.7
Table 8. Distribution of
137
Cs by floodplain soil layers over the length of the river, kBqm
-2
0 50 100 150 200
100
1000
10000
137
Cs
90
Sr
C
o
n
t
a
m
i
n
a
t
i
o
n

d
e
n
s
i
t
y
,

k
B
q

m
2

Distance, km

Radioactive Waste

78
Most of the floodplain soils (Assanov Bridge, Nadyrov Bridge) are characterized by
depletion of the upper 0-10 cm layer, presence of maximum
90
Sr concentrations at the
depth of 10-30 cm with a dramatic drop in concentrations measured deeper along the
profile. This is caused by washing of the upper layer with the surface waters. In the
locality of Muslyumovo, the distribution of
90
Sr by soil layers is influenced by the
continuous run-off from the overlying swampy layers. Further along the watercourse, the
processes of cleaning radionuclides from the upper soil layers and a more uniform
distribution along the depth of the soil become prevalent. (Nizhnepetropavlovskoye and
Zatechenskoye).


Sampling site
Distance
from dam
11, km
Position of layers, cm
0-5 5-20 20-40 40-60
Assanov bridge 4,5 20 78,5 112,6 49,4
Maloye Taskino 12 51,8 143,8 12,6 2,1
Nadyrov bridge 18,8 27,2 394,1 136,9 37,6
6 km below
Nadyrov bridge
24,5 46,2 39,2 26,6 8,3
Buslyumovo
swamp
34,7 27,7 72,1 233,9 103,7
Muslyumovo 40 10,7 33,8 6,5 2,1
Nizhne-
Petropavlovskoye
103 2,5 16,4 3,6 0,74
Zatechenskoye 195 26,3 239,8 321,1 24,5
Table 9. Distribution of
90
Sr by floodplain layers along the watercourse, kBqm
-2
From 1991 through 2005, the total content (reserve) of
137
Cs at the sampling site (Fig. 11)
decreased from 574.5 MBqm
-2
to 52.8 MBqm
-2
, accumulating mainly at the depth of 30 cm,
and lower, at 40 cm above the aquifer. The total content of
90
Sr in soil samples taken in the
floodplain (Fig. 12) decreased from 14.4 to 8.8 kBqm
-2
. Over this period, equalization of the
contamination was noted at the depth of 55 cm, while in the lower layer an increase in
contamination level was observed, with radionuclides moving all the way to the aquiferous
layer, obviously due to intensive seasonal washouts of the bog soils.
In 2009, samples were taken in the floodplain area close to Assanov swamps at the depth of
80 cm within 30, 70, 106 and 250 m of the shoreline. Below, an aquifer composed of blue clay
was situated. It was shown that
137
Cs and
90
Sr contamination densities in the floodplain soil
(figure 13) were declining depending on distance from the shoreline. The reserve of
137
Cs
exceeds that of
90
Sr at any distance, and their ratio changed at different distances from 22-2
times. The distance from 30 to 70 m is characterized by the lowest levels of contamination
due to wash-off by ground waters.
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

79


Fig. 11. Contamination densities for
137
Cs in the Techa floodplain area at sampling site
Assanov swamps within 6.5 km of dam 11, 10 m from the shoreline.



Fig. 12.
90
Sr contamination densities in the Techa River floodplain at 6.5 km from dam 11,
left bank, within 10 of the shoreline.
Sr-90
0
200
400
600
800
100
0
120
0
140
0
160
0
180
0
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 80 10
Depth, cm
C
o
n
t
a
m
i
n
a
t
i
o
n

d
e
n
s
i
t
y
,

k
B
q

m
2

1991
2005
Cs-137
100
1000
10000
100000
1000000
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 80 10
C
o
n
t
a
m
i
n
a
t
i
o
n

d
e
n
s
i
t
y
,

k
B
q

m
2

1991
2005
Depth, cm

Radioactive Waste

80

Fig. 13.
137
Cs and
90
Sr contamination densities for soils of Assanov swamps, Ci km
-2
In samples of floodplain taken in the area of Assanov swamps at different depths and sites,
prevalent are water-soluble forms of radionuclides deposited in deep layers (70-80 cm) of
riverside soil (up to 26%) in localities where they migrate in the direction of the watercourse.
A slight increase in exchangeable and mobile forms of
137
Cs in the lower layer was observed.
In 2005 and 2006, samples of ground and surface waters were taken in the area of Assanov
and Muslyumovo swamps with the aim to determine the actual scope of influence exerted
by deposited radionuclides on concentrations of radioactivity in swamp water. During cold
seasons, when migration processes are at their minimum, concentration of
90
Sr in flow
channels is high, reaching 187 Bq l
-1
, the concentration level registered in ground water is 14-
19 Bql
-1
. In spring, in the portion of the swamp area, where there is no distinctly outlined
water flow,
90
Sr concentrations in water amount to 80-100 Bql
-1
in localities far removed
from the river banks. In flow channels with a sufficiently dynamic water flow, radionuclide
concentrations reach about 40 Bql
-1
. In Muslyumovo swamps, water sampled in dead
channels contains 11-25 Bql
-1
of
90
Sr with radionuclide concentration level in river water of
6.2 Bql
-1
. The data obtained point out to the fact that it is mainly
90
Sr which is leached from
the floodplain to water, the same applies to
137
Cs, but to lesser extent.
Thus, it was demonstrated that the floodplain and bottom deposits are the key source of
secondary contamination of the river water with radionuclides. The level of radioactive
contamination of these river components is, in its turn, determined by the radioactive run-
offs from the Techa cascade of reservoirs.
3. East-Urals Radioactive Trace
3.1 Radioactive contamination of soil, vegetation, food products with
90
Sr and
137
Cs in
the early years after the 1957 accident
A distinguishing feature of the radioactive emission on the EURT is the presence in it of all
basic uranium fission products and a minimum content of the
137
Cs (Table 10).
0 50 100 150 200 250
10
100
1000
137
Cs
90
Sr
C
o
n
t
a
m
i
n
a
t
i
o
n

d
e
n
s
i
t
y
,

C
i

k
m
2

Distance from water edge, m
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

81
Radionuclide %
Scope of release,
PBq
89
Sr traces -
90
Sr+
90
Y 5.4 2.0
95
Zr+
95
Nb 24.8 18.4
106
Ru+
106
Rh 3.7 2.7
137
Cs 0.36 0.26
144
Ce+
144
Pr 66.0 48.7
147
Pm,
155
Eu traces -
239
Pu traces 0,0014
Table 10. Characterization of the radioactive releases and the initial reserve of radionuclides
on the EURT outside the Mayak PA industrial site (Avramenko V.I. et al., 1977)
The settling of the radioactive mixture from the cloud which was wind-drawn in the north-
eastern direction from the explosion site resulted in the formation of the East-Urals
Radioactive Trace (EURT). The Trace encompassed parts of Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk and
Tyumen oblasts. The length of the EURT is 300 km, its width is 30-50 km. According to
refined data, (Korsakov Yu.D. et al., 1996), in 1957 the area with contamination density ()
for
90
Sr >2 Ci km
-2
was 560 km
2
, that with >12 Ci km
-2
was 230 km
2
, with >50 Cikm
-2

120 km
2
, with >200 Cikm
-2
50 km
2
, with >800 Cikm
-2
16 km
2
, and with > 2 000 Cikm
-2

8 km
2
. There were over 200 populated localities in the Trace area, including several towns
and industrial communities. At early time after the accident, the population of the EURT
area was exposed to radiation-related hazards, including, in the first place, external
exposure to -radiation due to prevalence of -emitting nuclides in the deposited mixture
and, in the second place, internal exposure resulting from intakes of radionuclides contained
in food products produced in the localities. As the activity of -emitting nuclides (which
decayed almost completely 6-7 years after the accident) decreased, the radiation hazards
were mostly determined by the radionuclide
90
Sr.
The first measurements conducted on the contaminated territory showed that the -
radiation dose rate was proportional to the distance from the accident site. According to
measurements conducted during the first year after the accident in the area with
contamination density amounting to 1 Ci km
-2
for
90
Sr, the dose in air due to -radiation was
1R (G.N. Romanov, 1963). Direct exposure to -radiation only occurred in areas with
contamination density of over 1 500 Cikm
-2
for
90
Sr. According to data presented in (A.Ya.
Kogotkov, 1968), a decrease in relative contents of
90
Sr in the composition of the mixture
depending on distance from the accident site, and, respectively, an increase in the contents
of
144
and
137
Cs. Soil contamination densities in some localities may differ by an order of
magnitude, or greater.
The coniferous woods were affected most heavily. At the distance of 12.5 km from the
contamination source, a total loss of pine woods was registered in the summer of 1958. Mass
loss of birch forests were only observed in areas with contamination densities of over 4 000
Cikm
-2
. Migratory birds were only affected in the spring of 1958, after dose rates in the tree
crowns had decreased 10-fold. A reduced number of birds nests was noted in the areas with
contamination level of over 2 000 Cikm
-2
for
90
Sr. No loss of animals was registered. In the

Radioactive Waste

82
ensuing years, due to the fact that the contaminated area was made into a sanitary-
protection zone, the number of hares, roes and elks increased considerably.
During the first days after the accident, radioactive contamination of grass estimated
relative to 1 Ci/km
2
of soil contamination was 1.510
6
decay min
-1
kg
-1
. Radioactive
contamination of individual food products was very high (Table 11). Since cattle and other
domestic animals were fed contaminated forage, contamination of milk and meat was of
structural rather than superficial nature. It should be noted that contamination of milk was
registered as early as the first 2-3 days after the accident, and that of meat on days 10-12
(R.M. Alexakhin et al., 2001).
During the first days after the accident, radioactive contamination of grass estimated
relative to 1 Ci/km
2
of soil contamination was 1.510
6
decay min
-1
kg
-1
. Radioactive
contamination of individual food products was very high (Table 11). Since cattle and other
domestic animals were fed contaminated forage, contamination of milk and meat was of
structural rather than superficial nature. It should be noted that contamination of milk was
registered as early as in the first 2-3 days after the accident, and that of meat on days 10-12
(R.M. Alexakhin et al., 2001).

Locality Soil
Water from
water
sources
Grass Milk
Meat
muscles bones
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Berdyanish 21016 52 360380 115 58 92
Saltykova 33760 104 97162 218 - -
Galikayeva 2405 104 34262 - 6 74
Kasli 18 - 32 - - -
Russ. Karabolka 4810 42 22200 - 6 137
Yugo-Konevo 192 0.02 15207 - 1.2 10
Yushkovo 3 - - 3.1 3 71
Boyevskoye 266 - 755 - - -
Bagaryak 74 - 8399 4.4 - -
Kamensk-
Uralsky
- 0.004 - - 2.8 1.5
Pozarikha - - 440 - - -
Note: the results include
40
activity
Table 11. -activity in food products and environmental entities in the EURT area as of
20.10.1957, kBq/kg, l
Food products were the main contributor to radiation exposure of the population. The main
cause of the reduction in contents of radionuclides in food products over time is the
reduction of radionuclide contents in soils. Table 12 shows the basic composition of
radionuclides observed in food products and the dynamics of cleaning the food from
radionuclides. Among those radionuclides,
144
Ce+
144
Pr prevailed during the first 3 years,
later on
90
Sr gained priority.
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

83
Beginning from the spring-summer season in 1958, an additional contamination of
vegetation and agricultural plants occurred due to a downwind migration of radionuclides
from areas with a higher level of contamination density. The proportion of surface
contamination of grain crops accounted for 10-15% (P.P. Lyarsky, 1962).
Contamination levels measured for food products of the first post-accident harvest reaped
in the fields situated in the Trace zone with contamination densities of 0.2-0.5 Cikm
-2
for
90
Sr
or higher, were higher than the permissible limit legally valid at that time: 1300 decay
min
-1
kg
-1
(22 Bqkg
-1
).

Time after
the accident,
years
Key radionuclides, %
Other
90
Sr+
90
Y
137
Cs
144
Ce+
144
Pr
95
Zr+
95
Nb
106
Ru+
106
Rh
1 (1957) 10.1 1.5 76.9 10.1 1.3
<1%
2 (1958) 12.9 2.8 82.4 0.2 1.5
3 (1959) 7.0 8.0 80.6 - 4.2
5 (1961) 90.3 2.7 6.2 - 0.6
10 (1966) 98.8 1.2 - - -
Table 12. Composition of radionuclide observed in food products at different time after the
accident
3.2 Current levels of soil contamination
The studies conducted in 2006-2009 in the villages Allaki, Bagaryak, Bulzi, Tartar Karabolka
and Yushkovo located around the perimeter of the EURT of sanitary-protection zone. The
soils of the pasture lands adjacent to these villages are mainly dark-grey clay and leached
chernozem.
The mean dose-rate value of gamma-radiation in the localities of Karabolka, Musakayeva
and Bagaryak is 0.12 Svhr
-1
which is comparable to natural background values for
Chelyabinsk oblast. The mean pasture land contamination density for Sr
90
in the localities of
Tatarskaya Karabolka and Musakayeva is 5.9 kBqm
-2
, that for Bagaryak is 2-2.5 times
higher. Pasture land contamination density for
137
C is 12.9-24.8 kBqm
-2
. Mean
contamination densities measured in soils of kitchen gardens attached to houses in
Bagaryak was 77.5 kBqm
-2
. Mean specific activity in grass measured in different areas along
the EURT axis ranged from 11 to 15 thousand Bqkg
-1
for Sr
90
and from 3 to 60 Bqkg
-1
for
137
C. Forms of Sr
90
and
137
C encountered in soils sampled in the frontal portion of the Trace
(close to Alabuga Lake) have been identified (Table 13). Attention is drawn to the increased
number of exchangeable forms of Sr
90
and mobile forms of
137
C. During the early years after
the fallout, the total amount of Sr
90
was only encountered in soluble state. A decade later,
the proportion of exchangeable forms accounted for 65-75%, and the value has not changed
since then.

Radioactive Waste

84
According to data presented by V.V. Martyushov et al. (1996) 36 years after the
contamination, the content of exchangeable forms of
137
C and plutonium did not exceed 3%
and 1%, respectively. The proportion of poorly accessible forms of
137
C and plutonium
reached 95-98%. The content of water-soluble forms of
137
C and plutonium accounts for less
than 1%. Water-soluble forms of Sr
90
are mostly found in cationic compounds (72-76%).

Radionuclide
Physical-chemical forms of radionuclides , %
Water-soluble
Soluble in
1
CH
3
COONH
4
(exchangeable)
Soluble in 1
HCl
(mobile)
Solid residue
(poorly accessible)
90
Sr 2.8 0.5 73.2 0.4 16.3 0.6 7.7 0.4
137
Cs 2.7 0.4 3.1 1.0 19.4 1.5 74.8 2.5
Table 13. Forms of radionuclides identified in the upper 5-cm layer of soil in the vicinity of
Alabuga Lake
In 2009, soil samples were taken at 16 sampling sites at a distance of 20 km from the Mayak PA
perpendicular to the EURT axis. Five of those sites are situated in a birch forest. The total
contamination density in the soils of the rhizogenic layer and forest litter was, on the average,
equal to 737 kBq/m
2
for
90
Sr, and 41.2 kBq/m
2
for
137
Cs. It should be noted that 10.5% of the
contamination density for
90
Sr and 14.1% of contamination density for
137
Cs are contributed by
the debris layer. At 10 points situated in the hayfield extending from the forest up to Alabuga
Lake
90
Sr contamination density ranged from 161 to 350 kBq/m
2
,
137
Cs contamination density
measured in the hayfield ranged from 34 to 93 kBq/m
2
. Contamination densities measured in
the wood were higher than those measured in the hayfield.
At a distance of 30 km from the Mayak PA in an area along the Trace axis samples of soils
were taken at a depth of 10 cm.
90
Sr contamination density was found to range from 2.2
kBq/m
2
to 55.9 kBq/m
2
, that for
137
Cs ranged from 2.2 to 50.7 kBq/m
2
. At the periphery of
the Trace, contamination density for
137
Cs exceeded that for
90
Sr 2-5-fold. The contribution
made by the debris layer varies significantly. In afforested and steppified areas with well
developed steppe debris layer, the contribution of the debris layer to the contamination
density for
90
Sr reaches 37%, for
137
Cs 8.8%.
At a distance of about 40 km from the Mayk PA at a right angle to the Trace axis,
90
Sr and
137
Cs contamination density distribution was determined for the ploughed layer (0-20 cm).
As of the date of the measurements, there were only arable lands that had no sod cover were
available for measurements. The highest measured contamination density was 162 kBq/m
2

for
90
Sr and 24.4 kBq/m
2
for
137
Cs
Samples of sod-podzol soil were taken on the Trace axis close to Bolshoi Irtysh Lake (about
55 km from the Mayak PA). Contamination densities in the upper 0-20 cm layer and in the
ground litter was 308 kBq/m
2
for
90
Sr, and 20 Bq/m
2
for
137
Cs. It is noteworthy that 11.2% of
90
Sr and 18.0% of
137
Cs are contributed by the ground litter. The total contamination
densities in soil (0-20 cm) and ground litter along the Trace axis are presented in Figure 14.
The studies performed have shown that soil contamination densities close to the EURT axis
are still high, even at the present time; besides, in a number of cases a considerable portion
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

85
of radionuclides is contained in forest debris layer or steppe litter. Contamination levels
mostly depend on the distance from the contamination source, i.e. from the Mayak PA. The
highest levels of radioactive contamination were identified in the 0-5 cm layer of soil. Below
the root-inhabited layer, 2.7%-57.2% of
90
Sr and 28.4%-41.1% of
137
Cs are deposited. In all
types of soil,
90
Sr is encountered in biologically accessible forms, and,
137
Cs is contained in
poorly-soluble compounds.
3.3 Vertical migration of
90
Sr and
137
Cs through soil profiles
To allow assessment of soil contamination levels, two main parameters are used, viz., specific
activity of the radionuclide in soil (Bqkg
-1
) and contamination density (Bqm
-2
) which takes
into account the total contamination density in all n soil layers. There is no direct relationship
between these two parameters. It was established that over the time period since the 1957
accident the radionuclides had migrated to a significant depth. Actually, samples taken at all
the sampling sites showed that the highest level of contamination with
137
Cs and
90
Sr was
detected in the upper level of soil and in debris layer (in meadow soils it was found in sod
cover and in thick felt of the steppe). The ratio of radionuclide specific activity in the 0-10 cm
layer to activity in the 10-20 cm layer did not depend on the summarized contamination
density. The value of this ratio is mostly influenced by the type of the ecosystem: the mean
value of this ratio for
137
Cs in forest ecosystems is 20.44.4, and in meadows it is 2.91.6. For
90
Sr, the differences are insignificant: 3.40.9 in forests, and 2.81.5 in meadows. The ratio of
specific activity of
137
Cs in debris cover to activity in the 0-10 cm soil layer amounted on an
average to 0.50.1, and for
90
Sr to 1.50.2. Although the specific activity of
137
Cs and
90
Sr in the
litter layer is sufficiently high, it does not exert substantial influence on the summarized
contamination density since the volume weight of the litter layer is by two orders of
magnitude lower than the volume weight of soil.
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
20 30 40 55
C
o
n
t
a
m
i
n
a
t
i
o
n
a

d
e
n
s
i
t
y
,

k
B
q

m
2
Distance from Mayak PA, km

Fig. 14. Contamination density of soil (0-20 cm) and litter layer along the EURT axis as a
function of distance from the source of contamination.

Radioactive Waste

86
Distribution of
90
Sr and
137
Cs in soil profiles was studied in 2008-2010 for 3 types of soils:
gray forest, sod-podzol and chernozem. Gray forest soils are most prevalent in the forest-
steppe zone. They are formed in leaf woods and mixed woods of the Trans-Urals region.
Distribution of
90
Sr and
137
Cs in gray forest soil profiles was determined at a sampling site
within 20 km of the Mayak PA. The highest specific activity of
90
Sr (1.610
4
Bqkg
-1
) and
137
Cs (1.310
3
Bqkg
-1
) was measured in the lower layer of the forest litter which contains a
half-decayed tree waste.
90
Sr activity in the upper layer of the forest litter is actually equal to
activity found in the 0-5 cm soil layer,
137
Cs activity is 2.7 times lower. However, the volume
weight of the forest litter is low that is why contamination density summarized for its upper
and lower layers is lower than that in the underlying 0-5 cm soil layer where the main
amounts of
90
Sr (60%) and
137
Cs (50%) are deposited. The tree waste of 2008 sampled on
October 31 demonstrated an increase in contamination density of the tree waste by 2.4
kBqkg
-
m
-2
for
90
Sr which accounts for 2.1% of the tree waste contamination measured in
spring of 2008. Over the 50 years since the accident, no shift of the maximum values with
increasing depth through the soil profiles has taken place. At the same time, both
90
Sr, and
137
Cs, though in small amounts, have at least, reached the depth of 170-175 cm. It should be
added that
137
Cs which is considered to be less capable for vertical migration, is evidently
migrating more actively than
90
Sr, 2.7% of
90
Sr, and 28.4% of
137
Cs are deposited at a depth of
over 20 cm.
Sod-podzol soils which most often are found in the northern part of the Trace, are formed
under coniferous woods. The distribution of
90
Sr and
137
Cs along the profile of sod-podzol
soils is comparable to the distribution observed for gray forest soils. The highest specific
activity of
90
Sr (1.010
4
Bqkg
-1
) and
137
Cs (1.210
3
Bqkg
-1
) was found in the lower part of the
forest waste, the highest contamination density for
90
Sr (39.6%) and
137
Cs (40.4%) was
measured in the upper 0-5 cm soil layer. The forest waste and soil layer up to 20 cm in depth
contain 96.2% of
90
Sr and 58.9% of
137
Cs. At the depth of over 20 cm 3.7% of
90
Sr and 41.1% of
137
Cs are deposited below 20 cm. As can be seen from the comparison of the distributions,
the mobility of
90
Sr in the sod-podzol soils differs insignificantly from that registered in gray
forest soils, the mobility manifested by
137
Cs is significantly higher. Already at the depth of
25-30 cm, the specific activities of
90
Sr and
137
Cs actually differ one from the other, however,
in lower layers
137
Cs takes the first position.
There occur in steppefied areas of the EURT weak northern or leached chernozems which
have been ploughed up for a long time period. It should have been expected, therefore, that
the distribution of radionuclides through the 0-20 cm plough-layer would be more uniform
and speedy. The site for taking soil samples from the chernozem profile is located close to
the EURT axis, however, the contamination density for
90
Sr turned out to be low, viz., 17.8
kBqm
-2
for
90
Sr and 40.2 kBqm
-2
for
137
Cs over the whole profile.
137
Cs was found to be
significantly prevalent in each layer.
The highest specific activity for
90
Sr (92.2 Bqkg
-1
) and
137
Cs (161 Bqkg
-1
) was observed in the
debris cover which was characteristic of other soil types too. The highest contamination
density was measured in the 0-5 cm layer for
90
Sr (10.4%) and in the 5-10 cm layer (10.9%),
and for
137
Cs in the 0-5 layer (21.4%). At the depth of over 20 cm, 57.2% of
90
Sr, and 37. 4% of
137
Cs were deposited.
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

87
The analysis of
90
Sr distribution patterns in the EURT soils were made using data of
researches conducted in 1963-2008 (figures 15-17). It can be seen that the distribution of
90
Sr in the profile of the 30 cm layer is well described by the following exponential
function: y=ae
-bx
, where y is the content of radionuclides calculated as percentage of the
total contamination density in the 30-cm layer, x is reference number of sample taken in
the 5-cm soil layer. Using the coefficient b it becomes possible to calculate the depth at
which a decrease in contamination density to a preset level takes place.
90
Sr which settled
on the soil surface is slowly migrating to deeper layers, and the coefficient b is decreasing
(Table 14).
In gray forest soils, the value of coefficient b correlates with the number of years that have
passed since the accident (r = -0.94, = 0.02). In sod-podzol soils, especially intensive
90
Sr
migration is going on.
So far, no shift in maximum
90
Sr and
137
Cs activities down the soil profile has been observed
in any soil types of interest (gray forest, sod-podzol, chernozem). The highest specific
activity of both
90
Sr, and
137
Cs in natural and fallow lands is retained in the lower layers of
forest litter and or steppe debris. High specific activity of
90
Sr and
137
Cs is also retained in 0-5
soil layer. In deeper soil layers, the activity of these radionuclides is decreasing rapidly and
reaches the minimal values in the 25-40 cm layers of eluvial horizons. In illuvial horizons,
radionuclide activity is slightly decreased. In general, the specific activity of
90
Sr and
137
Cs in
natural soils, beginning at a depth 20-25 cm is relatively stable. The calculations have shown
that the 180-300 cm soil layer contains about 28% of
137
Cs and 18% of
90
Sr of the total
contamination density in soil layer 0-300.


Fig. 15. Dynamics of
90
Sr distribution in 30-cm layers of gray forest soil

Radioactive Waste

88


Fig. 16. Dynamics of
90
Sr distribution in 30-cm layers of sod-podzol soil


Fig. 17. Dynamics of
90
Sr distribution in 30-cm layers of chernozem
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

89
Year of sampling b R2
Gray forest
1968 3.07 0.999
1978 2.15 0.999
1998 1.17 0.993
2006 0.96 0.991
2008 1.38 0.999
Sod-podzol
1963 1.76 0.993
1968 2.17 0.989
1978 0.30 0.435
2005 0.70 0.998
2008 0.62 0.831
Chernozem
1962 5.78 1.000
1977 1.16 0.997
1998 0.45 0.874
2006 0.01 0.008
2008 0.16 0.555
Table 14. Parameters of equations describing
90
Sr distribution in the profile of the 30-cm soil
layer
Most of the researchers engaged in studies of radionuclide distribution in soil have noted
that in the first years after atmospheric fallouts the highest amounts of
90
Sr and
137
Cs
settled in sod cover or forest litter. It is known, however, that vegetable waste of
herbaceous type decays within one season, while leaf wood waste decays within 3-4
years. It takes longer for waste of coniferous forests to decay, however, over the 50 years
since formation of the EURT the forest litter contaminated by atmospheric fallouts should
have decayed long ago, while the steppe cover of chernozem did not develop until 1991.
Thus, the high specific activity currently observed in the forest litter is due not only to the
initial fallouts in 1957 and 1967, but also to a high rate of local radionuclide turnover and
continuous fallouts of activity.
The reserve of radionuclides in the vegetation mat and upper soil layers is constantly
replenished due to vegetation waste. The waste cover is, in its turn, contaminated due to
atmospheric fallouts and transfer of radionuclides to the top by the root system. Since
actually the total surface biomass of vegetation is transferred to the waste cover at the end of
the year, the yearly carry-over of
90
Sr to the surface is determined by the annual
productivity of the ecosystem.
Waste of woody vegetation accounts for just a portion of the yearly increment, in addition to
leaves and grass, the waste composition includes slowly decaying wood, needles and
strobiles. That is why radionuclides are deposited not only in soil but also in wood and litter
cover. Mineralization of decayed biomass involves an increase in the relative contents of
radionuclides in the waste litter. Specific activity of
90
Sr in the ground litter was 2.20.7
times higher than in grass at a distance of 20 km from the contamination source, and 6.436
times higher at a distance of 30 km; the respective values for
137
Cs were 148 and 128. Table

Radioactive Waste

90
15 presents specific activity values for radionuclides deposited in litter cover and the upper
layer of soil.
90
Sr activity measured in the upper layer of the litter cover is actually the same
as that in the upper layer of the soil, and activity in the lower layer is substantially higher.
The difference between levels of
137
Cs activity in the upper and lower layers of the litter
cover is even more substantial than that found for
90
Sr. Ratio of
90
Sr specific activity to the
activity in the 0-10 cm soil layer at a distance of 20 km from the Mayak PA is 0.70.3, and
that at 30 km is 2.11.0. The ratio for
137
Cs is 0.080.04 and 0.40.4. Since contamination
levels of grass are higher at longer distances, it can be assumed that currently the uptake of
90
Sr and
137
Cs by the biomass is going on through the root system.
90
Sr activity in leaves
which contribute the largest portion of the vegetation mat is actually the same as that
identified in the 0-5 soil layer. However, as was mentioned above, the weight of the
vegetation waste per 1 m
2
was not large. On the EURT axis, within 20 km of the Mayak PA,
samples of 2008-vegetation waste were taken in a birch forest. Specific activity of
90
Sr
measured in the waste was 5904 Bqkg
-1
, that of
137
Cs 54 Bqkg
-1
. The fall of the aboveground
phytomass to the forest floor contributed 2.3 kBqkg m
-2
of
90
Sr and 028 kBqkg m
-2
of
137
Cs.
This accounted for 2.1% and 3.4% of contamination density in forest litter for
137
and
90
Sr,
respectively, and for 0.36% and 0.8% of the total contamination density in the 0-20 cm layer
of forest litter and soil for
90
Sr and
137
Cs, respectively.

Distance
from
Mayak PA,
km
Soil
Upper layer of
litter cover
Lower layer of
litter cover
0-5 cm soil layer
90
Sr
137
Cs
90
Sr
137
Cs
90
Sr
137
Cs
20
gray forest 7.110
3
0.1810
3
16.310
3
1.310
3
7.810
3

0.481
0
3

chernozem 0.610
3
0.0210
3
1.210
3
0.210
3
1.110
3

0.310
3

30 chernozem 29 5 92 161 31 143
55
Sod-
podzol
2.810
3
0.0610
3
1010
3
1.210
3
1.910
3

0.210
3

Table 15. Soil and litter contamination levels, Bq kg
-1

Therefore, the plant litter vegetation waste contributes an insignificant proportion of
contamination density of the plant litter and upper layer of soil.
It was found out as a result of measurements of the proportions of radionuclides occurring
in different forms and having different degrees of accessibility to plants that
90
Sr is mostly
encountered in exchangeable form (64-85%), a larger amount of exchangeable strontium
being deposited in sod-podsol soils than in gray forest and chernozem. The largest amount
of
137
Cs is strongly bound together and it occurs in acid-soluble form (4-36%) or as a solid
residue (27-82%). In all cases, the content of
137
Cs accessible to plants in the 5-10 layer
proved to be higher, and the content of
137
Cs in the form of solid residue was significantly
lower.
Thus, as of today, the studies of all the soil types have shown that the major part of
90
Sr and
137
Cs activity is deposited in the upper layer.
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

91
3.6 Dependencies governing migration of
90
Sr

and
137
Cs in the soil-grass chain and
forest products
In 2005-2006, samples of grass and soils taken in the most heavily contaminated areas of
the EURT were processed, following which proportionality factors were assessed (PF).
Specific activity of
90
Sr in grass ranged from 70 to10940 Bqkg
-1
, that of
137
Cs from 10 to
997 Bqkg
-1
. Proportionality factor (Bq/kg in grass/Bq/kg in soil) was within the range
0.2-2.1, the mean value of transfer factor calculated as a ratio of specific activity of
radionuclides in grass to soil contamination density, Bqkg
-1
/ Bqkg
-2
, was 15.98.5 for
90
Sr, while for
137
Cs it was lower: 3.13.4. The difference in transfer factor values may
depend on soil type and diversity of plant species composing the cover layer. It should
be noted that transfer factor values are slightly higher for sod-podzol soils in the EURT
zone.
Transfer factor estimated for grass in the EURT zone has changed insignificantly over the
recent 10 years, it is 10.3 Bqkg
-1
/ Bqkg
-2
for
90
Sr. The mean transfer factor calculated in
1997 for
90
Sr in pasture soils in the EURT zone was 13.5 Bqkg
-1
/Bqkg
-2
. Transfer factor
values calculated for
90
Sr relative to standard soil contamination of 1 Cikm
-2
(37 kBqm
-2
)
amounted to 230-270 Bqkg
-1
/ 37 Bqkg
-2
.
Contamination with
90
Sr of all sampled wild-growing berries exceeds the permissible limit
3.5-13.5 times,
90
Sr proportionality factor is higher than that determined for vegetables and
grain (Table 16). Specific activity of
137
Cs in grass and berries does not exceed the
permissible limit. It should be taken into consideration that wild-growing berries in the
EURT zone present the highest hazard compared to other food products in view of the
contribution they can make to dietary intakes of
90
Sr.


Sampling
site
Species
Specific activity of
fresh berries,Bqkg
-1

proportionality factor, (Bqkg
-
1
in berries)/
(Bqkg
-1
in soil)
90
Sr
137
Cs
90
Sr
137
Cs
20 km from
Mayak PA
Wild
strawberry
813 5.2 0.140 0.0165
stone bramble 243 2.4 0.042 0.0076
30 km from
Mayak PA
Wild
strawberry
213 1.0 0.254 0.0054
Table 16. Contamination of wild-growing berries with
90
Sr and
137
Cs
Table 17 presents data on levels of contamination of fresh mushrooms. In 2008, specific
activity of
90
Sr and
137
Cs in all samples was found to be significantly lower than the
permissible limits (50 Bqkg
-1
for
90
Sr and 500 Bqkg
-1
for
137
Cs). Proportionality factors and
transfer factors were significantly lower than those obtained for grass, vegetables and
grains sampled in 2007. It can be assumed that mushrooms growing in the EURT zone
present no hazards for the population as their contribution to internal dose is
insignificant.

Radioactive Waste

92
Sampling
site
Species
Specific activity
of fresh
mushrooms,
Bqkg
-1

Accumulation
factor, (Bqkg
-1
in
the fruit body)/(
Bqkg
-1
in soil)
Proportionality
factor, (Bqkg
-1
in
fruit body) /
(Bqkg
-2
in soil)
90
Sr
137
Cs
90
Sr
137
Cs
90
Sr
137
Cs
50 km
from
Mayak
PA
Birch
mushroom
0.47 0.58 0.0039 0.0113 0.0328 0.0941
Coral milky
cap
1.2 0.97 0.0101 0.0189 0.0839 0.1573
Mix 0.7 0.9 0.0059 0.0175 0.0489 0.1460
Milk
mushroom
yellow
0.34 4.6 0.0041 0.0176 0.0305 0.1447
Blewits 0.59 19.9 0.0071 0.0762 0.0529 0.6259
Arachnoid
muchroom,
excellent
0.63 18.5 0.0076 0.0709 0.0565 0.5819
Mix 1.4 8.2 0.0169 0.0314 0.1255 0.2579
Blewits white 0.7 3.9 0.0092 0.0169 0.0749 0.1383
Mix 1.7 18.8 0.0531 0.0450 0.2798 0.3705
20 km
from
Mayak
PA
Honey agaric
summer
mushroom
9.8 39.0 0.0017 0.124 0.0133 0.9476
30 km
from
Mayak
PA
Yellow
boletus
5.5 10.9 0.0065 0.0586 0.0396 0.4950
Mix of the
lamellar
8.9 2.0 0.0106 0.0108 0.0641 0.0908
Table 17. Contamination of mushrooms with
90
Sr and
137
Cs
3.7 Migration of radionuclides along food chains
Levels and dynamics of
90
Sr specific activity in milk produced in villages at the periphery of
the EURT in 1958-2006 are presented in figure 24. A dramatic decrease in contents of
90
Sr in
milk had occurred before 1963 while later on a slow decrease was observed overtime. Since
1960 the period of a 2-fold decrease in
90
Sr contents in milk (
1/2 eff.
) was 23 years. The
content of
137
Cs in milk produced in the villages studied was 2 times lower as compared to
that of
90
Sr. Currently, this value is1.1 0.4 Bq/l for
137
Cs.
In 1960, the transfer factor in the soil-milk chain was 340 Bql
-1
/Bqm
-2
, in 2006 it was
45 Bql
-1
/Bqm
-2
. A reduction in the transfer factor resulted from a decrease in biological
accessibility of the radionuclide in the soil-pasture grass chain.
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

93
Potatoes take the second position after milk in terms of
90
Sr contributed by food produce.
The dynamics of reduction in specific activity of
90
Sr in potatoes has been the sane over the
total period of observations, viz., from 7.0 to 0.9 Bqkg
-1
, the respective value for
137
Cs is
from 1.5 to 0.7 Bqkg
-1
. Within a number of years, stable values of transfer factor have been
established for agricultural products (Table 18).

Fig. 24. Dynamics of specific activity of
90
Sr in milk produced in EURT villages in the period
1958-2006

Crops Products
Proportionality factors
90
Sr
137
Cs
Peas Grain 11.46.6 15.25.2
Wheat Grain 14.49.1 6.61.9
Oats Grain 5.72.5 9.94.6
Barley Grain 6.52.1 4.41.3
Cabbage Head of cabbage 4.71.6 3.01.4
Carrots Root crop 5.21.1 2.20.8
Beet Root crop 43.344.7 16.515.7
Potato Tubers 4.81.3 2.30.5
Corn Paste (dry) 1.40.6 3.60.5
Sudanese grass Paste (dry) 9.07.2 46.036.7
Table 18. Mean values of proportionality factors for
137
Cs and
90
Sr measured in the portion of
cash crop grown in 0-20 cm layer of gray forest soils
Year
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
S
p
e
c
i
f
i
c

a
c
t
i
v
i
t
y
,

B
q
/
l

0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
Tat. Karabolka
Bagaryak
Bulzi
Yushkovo

Radioactive Waste

94
Values of proportionality factor decrease overtime and, as a result, it becomes possible to
grow agricultural product with admissible level of conatimation in soils with a higher
contaminated level.
4. Karachai Radioactive Trace
In 1997 the area covered by the Karachai Radioactive Trace (KRT) delineated by
90
Sr
contamination isoline of 7.4 kBq/m
2
(0.2 Ci/km
2
) amounted to 1660 km
2
. The total amount
of the radionuclides deposited on this territory was 800 Ci. Radinuclide composition of dust
fallouts was as follows: 32 % of
90
Sr+
90
Y, 47% of
137
Cs, 21% of
144
Ce+
144
Pr. Biological
accessibility to plants was 90 % for
90
Sr, and 12% for
137
Cs (Yu.D. Korsakov et al., 1996).
In 1967 about 97% of the total
137
Cs deposited in pasture soils settled in the upper 0-3 cm layer.
Currently, 38 years after the fallout,
137
Cs is accumulated in the soil layer at a depth of 13 cm,
and
90
Sr is mostly deposited in the soil layer to a depth of 0-20 cm (89.5%). A small portion of
radionuclides which settled in the layer at a depth of 0-70 cm migrated to a depth of 70 cm.
In 1967, the transfer factor for contents of
90
Sr

in grass and soil was 0.09 Bqkg
-1
/ kBqm
-2
. A
sharp decline in transfer factor values for
137
Cs within the soil-grass chain occurred one year
later after it had been cleaned of surface contamination, and in the subsequent years no
changes in transfer factor values were noted. During early years, the uptakes of the
radionuclide were going on from sod cover and soil, and transfer factor values fluctuated
between 0.0025 and 0.005 Bq/kg : Bq/m
2
.
Long-term studies of
90
Sr and
137
Cs transfer from soil to grass were conducted in the grazing
land of Sarykulmak village where dairy cattle was grazing (Figure 25).


Fig. 25. Levels and dynamics of decrease in radionuclide contents measured in pasture grass
Year
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
S
p
e
c
i
f
i
c

a
c
t
i
v
i
t
y
,

B
q
/
k
g

0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
90
Sr
137
Cs
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

95
A reduction in specific activity of
137
Cs in the pasture grass over the period from 1967
through 2009 is described by the two exponential dependences:
1/2
was 1.8 years in the
initial period after deposition of radionuclides, and in the subsequent period it was 3.8
years. The first exponent describes the cleaning of grass from surface contamination, the
second describes the reduction in uptakes of radionuclides by grass from soil. Over the
period from 1967 through 2009, the specific activity of
137
Cs

in grass decreased 100-fold , that
of
90
Sr 10-fold.
The initial specific activity of
90
Sr in milk late in April, 1967, was 140 Bq/l, that of
137
Cs - 237
Bq/l. From 1967 through 2009, the average values of
90
Sr and
137
Cs specific activity in milk
decreased 30-fold. The decrease in
90
Sr and
137
Cs levels in milk was determined based on the
decrease in grass contamination. Beginning from 1970, the period of half-cleaning of milk
from
90
Sr was 20 years, and from
137
Cs 10 years. Proportionality factors for
90
Sr in the soil-
milk chain estimated on the Karachai Radioactive Trace were on the average 5-fold lower
than the values estimated for the EURT for the same time periods elapsed after the
radioactive fallouts on the soil. Evidently, the long period for which
90
Sr and
137
Cs remained
deposited in silt and soil on the shores of Karachai led to a reduction in biological
accessibility of radionuclides to plants and, as a result, to a reduced uptake of radioactivity
by milk. Specific activities of
90
Sr in milk are more correctly described by the log-normal
distribution. After the accident, the contents of
137
Cs in potatoes was insignificant, and
overtime it decreased about 10-fold, while the contents of
90
Sr decreased 3-fold.
5. Conclusion
1. Major radiation accidents that took place in the Southern Urals during the period 1949-
1967 brought about contamination of vast territories with radionuclides and exposure
of the local population. The situation on the Techa River involved contamination of
river water, bottom sediments and the floodplain with
137
Cs and
90
Sr. On the East-Urals
Radioactive Trace
90
Sr was the prevalent contaminant, while on the Karachai Trace
biologically poorly-accessible compounds of
137
Cs and
90
Sr prevailed.
2. The key mechanisms by which contamination of the environment can be eliminated
include radioactive decay, reduction in biological accessibility and deepening of
radioactive substances in soil. Pronounced sorption capabilities and poor solubility
hamper migration of
137
Cs in the environment, while
90
Sr is more mobile.
3. Due to a number of protection measures implemented from 1965 through 2004 on the
Techa River, concentrations of
90
Sr and
137
Cs in river water have decreased, and
currently the specific activity of
90
Sr amounts to 10-15 Bql
-1
, and that of
137
Cs to
0.5-1.5 Bql
-1
. Radionuclides deposited in bottom sediments migrated to the depth of
over 35 cm. Contamination density in the 0-10 cm layer depends on the concentration of
radionuclides in the watercourse.
90
Sr and
137
Cs are revealed in floodplain soil at a
depth of over 70 cm where a decrease and averaging of concentrations overtime has
been observed. At the present time, it is expedient to retain the constraints on the use of
river water.
After the use of river water was banned in 1956, the major pathway for contribution of
radioactivity to dietary intakes has been made by milk (87-95 %) and vegetables. Since
1967, the content of
90
Sr in milk, with rare exception, has not exceeded the permissible
limit (25 Bql
-1
).

Radioactive Waste

96
4. The rate of vertical migration of
90
Sr in EURT soils ranges from 0.25 to 0.35 cmyear
-1
,
the largest amount of radionuclides which remains deposited in the upper part of the
soil profile (0-20 cm) is decreasing with increasing depth. Nonmobile
137
Cs is mosty
retained in the upper 10-cm layer. Biological accessibility of
90
Sr has decreased over the
past period 7-10 times and it has not actually changed over the recent years. Currently,
40 years after the accident, the content of fixed forms of
90
Sr in soil has reached 34%,
that of
137
Cs and plutonium 95-98%.
The period of half-cleaning of milk from
90
Sr was 2-3 years during the first years after
the accident, and during the subsequent period it amounted to 15 years.
5. On the Karachai Trace, due to the prevalence of
137
Cs and
90
Sr with poor biological
accessibility, the reduction in contamination of soils, grass and food products was going
on more speedily (than that registered on the EURT). Specific activity of
137
Cs and
90
Sr
in milk exceeded the permissible limits only during the first month after the accident.
6. The prognosis for the further development of the radiation situation on the Techa River
is determined predominantly by the radioactive runoff from the Techa cascade of
reservoirs. With the lapse of time, the part of the EURT territory where the use of
agricultural lands is restricted, will diminish. There are no such restrictions in the
Karachai Trace area.
6. References
M.I. Avramenko, A.N. Averin., Yu.V. Glagolenko, et al.. 1957 Accident. Assessment of the
parameters of the explosion and analysis of the character of radioactive
contamination of the territory // Radiation Safety Issues. 1997. - 3. - P. 18-28.
R.M. Aleksakhin, L.A. Buldakov, V.A. Gubanov et al. Major radiation accidents:
consequences and protection measures. Under the editoship of L.A. Ilyn and V.A.
Gubanov / - M., IzdAT, 2001 752 p.
Yu.G. Glagolenko, E.E. Dzekun, E.G. Drozhko, G.M. Medvedev, S.I. Rovny, A.P. Suslov.
Strategy for radioactive waste management at the Mayak PA// Radiation Safety
Issues. 2.-1966.-p 3-10.
Yu.A. Izrael, E.M. Artemov, V.N. Vasilenko, I.N. Nazarov, A.I. Nakhutin, A.A. Uspin,
A.M.Kamkin. Radioactive contamination of the Urals region by the Mayak
Production Association // Radioactivity in case of nuclear explosions and
accidents. (Proceedings of the International Conference, Moscow, April 24-26, 2000,
C.-P., 2000.- P. 411-424.
A.Ya. Kogotkov. Behavior of radionuclides in soils of the Mid-Transuralian region: Doctoral
thesis (Biological Sciences). M., 1968. 556 p.
Yu.D. Korsakov, E.A. Fedorov, G.N. Romanov, L.I. Panteleyev. Assessment of radiation
conditions on the territory contaminated due to downwind transfer of radioactive
aerosols in the area around the facility in 1967: Abstract // Radiation Safety Issues.
- 1996. - 4. - P. 50-59.
P.P. Lyarsky. Sanitary consequences of contamination of the territory with long-lived
products of uranium fission and arrangement for sanitary-prophylactic measures:
Doctoral Thesis (Medical sciences). - M., 1962. 928 p.
Environmental Migration of
Radionuclides (
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
239
Pu) in Accidentally Contaminated Areas of the Southern Urals

97
A.N. Marey. Sanitary consequences of discharges of radioactive waste from atomic facility
into water basins: Doctoral thesis (madical sciences) / Biophysics Instituteof the
Ministry of Health, USSR. - M. - 1959. - 441 p.
V.V. Martyushov, D.A. Spirin, G.N. Romanov, V.V. Bazylev. Dynamics of the state and
migration of Strontium-90 in soils of the East-Urals Radioactive Trace // Radiation
Safety Issues. -1996.-3.-p. 28-35.
Yu.G. Mokrov. Reconstruction and prognosis of radioactive contamiation of the Techa
River. Part I. Role of weighted particles in the processes of radioactive
contamination of the Techa Rivert in 1949- 1951 Ozyorsk: Editorial-Publishing
Center VRB, 2002.- 176 p.
Basic requirements of samplig (MU 2.6.1.715-98 and MUK 2.6.1.016-99).
M.M. Saurov. Radiation-hygienic assessment of the natural migration of the population
chronically exposed to uranium fission products: Doctoral thesis (Madical
sciences).-M.,1968.-663 p.
Compedium of methods for measurements of radioactivity in the environment. Methods for
radiochemical analysis. Editor: G.A. Sereda, Z.S. Shulenko. GidrometeoIzdat, M.,
1966, 51 p.
Consequences of anthropogenic radiation exposure and rehabilitation issues of the Urals
region. Editor: S.K. Shoigu. M.,2002, 287 p.
Nature of Chelyabinsk Oblast. Chelyabinsk, 1964.
V.P. Yulanov. Pine growth peculiarities (Pinus silvestris) in areas contaminated with
radioactive substances: Candidate,s thesis (Biological sciences). - Chelyabinsk, 1965.
154 p.
6.1 Original references in Russian language
.., .., .. . 1957 .

// . 1997. - 3. - . 18-28.
.., .., .. . :
. ..
../ - ., , 2001 752 .
.., .., .., .., .., ..
//
2.-1966.- 3-10.
.., .., .., .., .., ..,
..
" //
. ( , , 24-26
2000, .-., 2000.- . 411-424.
.. : . .
. . ., 1968. 556 .
.., .., .., ..
,
1967 .: // .
. - 1996. - 4. - . 50-59.

Radioactive Waste

98
..
-
: . . . - ., 1962. 928 .
..
: . .
. . / . - . - 1959. - 441 .
.., .., .., ..
-90 -
// . -1996.-3.-. 28-35.
.. .
I.
1949- 1951 . : -
, 2002.- 176 .
, ( 2.6.1.715-98 2.6.1.016-99).
.. - ,
: .
. ..-.,1968.-663 .
C .
. , . ., , . .
, ., 1966, 51 .

. .. ... .,2002, 287 .
. - , 1964.
.. (Pinus silvestris) ,
: . ... - , 1965. -
154.
Section 2
Pre-Disposal Activities

5
Radioactive Waste Assay for Reclassification
Timothy Miller
Atomic Weapons Establishment
United Kingdom
1. Introduction
Following the ban on deep sea disposal of radioactive wastes in 1983 the Atomic Weapons
Establishment (AWE) in the United Kingdom (UK) has stored plutonium (Pu) and uranium
(U) contaminated wastes on site in 200 l steel drums or as wrapped packages containing
filters or other materials. This was because of difficulty in demonstrating compliance with
the with the 100 Bq/g Pu alpha activity limit for waste disposal at the national Low Level
Waste (LLW) repository at Drigg in Cumbria (UK) and the absence of a national
Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) repository. Wastes that were potentially only lightly
contaminated were consigned to Drigg as LLW because of difficulties in demonstrating that
they could be disposed of as either Very Low Level Waste (VLLW) or Exempt Waste (EW).
Table 1 summarises the current situation in the UK regarding disposal route and costs for
each waste category. This UK classification system is different from that recommended by
the IAEA or that used in the USA.

Category
Activity range
(Bq g
-1
)
Disposal route
Disposal cost
( per 200l drum)
ILW
> 4,000 Pu, U
> 12,000 beta
Indefinite storage at
AWE until a national
ILW repository is
available
40,000
LLW
< 4,000 U
< 12,000 beta
LLW repository at Drigg 250
LLWD < 100 Pu alpha LLW repository at Drigg 250
VLLW < 4 Pu, U As authorised 50
EW
< 1 U
< 0.15 Pu
As AWE policy dictates 20
Table 1. Waste disposal routes and costs
In recent years AWE has successfully developed robust techniques for reducing both the
quantity and category of its Pu and U contaminated wastes. The objective was to reduce
costs and ensure that wastes provisionally classified as ILW were reclassified to LLW for off-
site disposal to Drigg where possible and that the limited space available at Drigg was used
for genuine LLW and not VLLW or EW. This chapter describes the waste reclassification
techniques, recently developed at AWE, for ILW reclassification to LLWD (i.e. LLW

Radioactive Waste

102
acceptable to Drigg) and for VLLW reclassification to EW that is not subject to regulatory
control in the UK. The techniques were applied to almost all waste streams encountered at
AWE and around 50 % of provisionally classified ILW was downgraded to LLW and 70- 90
% of provisionally classified VLLW to EW. However, further development is required in
order to address the problems posed by the most challenging waste streams. These
problems are discussed and suggestions are made for future work.
2. Reclassification techniques
Measurement of 200l steel waste drums, at the 100 Bq/g Pu alpha threshold, was beyond the
capabilities of most assay techniques because the low yields of neutron or photon emissions
from plutonium isotopes gave detection limits that were several hundred or thousand Bq/g
(Miller, 2002). Hence it was necessary to develop techniques that measure the relatively low
energy (60 keV), but high yield (36 %) photon from Am-241 (Pu-241 daughter) and apply the
Pu alpha/Am-241 activity ratio to calculate the total Pu alpha activity. The main drawback
with this strategy is the potential for underestimating Pu in scenarios where photon
attenuation is severe due to the presence of high density and high atomic number (Z)
materials in the waste. However, this was not found to be a problem for waste drums
encountered at AWE because activity was well distributed within the waste (Miller, 2009b).
Three techniques were developed. Firstly, High Resolution Gamma Spectrometry (HRGS),
using a High Purity Germanium (HPGe) crystal detector and Spectral Non-destructive
Assay Platform (SNAP) analytical software to calculate isotopic activities together with
associated errors and Detection Limits (DL). Secondly, Low Resolution Gamma
Spectrometry (LRGS), using a thin NaI(Tl) crystal detector calibrated using a traceable Am-
241 source and simulated waste. Thirdly, Gross Counting (GC) using plastic scintillation
photon detectors.
2.1 HRGS/SNAP
The SNAP assay system consists of standard HRGS hardware coupled with SNAP analytical
software. This allows the photon detector calibration to be corrected for both counting
geometry (e.g. drum dimensions and detector location) and gamma ray attenuation (e.g.
waste matrix density and composition. Figure 1 shows the standard counting geometry with
the detector end cap located at 60 cm from the centre/middle of the drum wall.








Fig. 1. SNAP assay system monitoring a 200l waste drum on a rotating turntable

Radioactive Waste Assay for Reclassification

103
The gamma spectrum, for the waste drum, was stored in the form of a Region of Interest
(ROI) report (.Rpt) file containing the counting data for the photons of interest (e.g. Am-241
@ 60 keV) and imported into SNAP for radionuclide identification, modelling, assay
calculation and reporting. Radionuclide identification can be performed using a full
radionuclide library or a sub-library pertaining to the waste-stream of interest (e.g.
plutonium). Each ROI in the spectrum was selected, by the analyst, from the library and the
spectrum saved as a RPu file.
The RPu files can then be imported into the SNAP modelling. Early versions of the SNAP
software have two models: a cylinder or a box. More recent versions have additional
models, such as a disk. The dimensions of the cylinder (height and diameter) or the box
(height, width and depth) pertain to the dimensions of the waste material within the waste
package. For a completely filled waste drum this would be the internal dimensions of the
drum that define the size of the item being assayed.
The detector location, relative to the waste, was defined by three measurements: the detector
to item distance was measured from the detector end cap to the surface of the waste
material; the detector height was measured from the base of the waste to the detector axis
and the left of centre was measured from the centre of the waste to the detector axis. The
detector calibration was selected together with the collimator position (e.g. flush with the
detector end cap).
The waste material was defined by three or four variables: the matrix mass, primary matrix
percentage by volume, primary matrix material and (if applicable) secondary matrix
material. Three layers of shielding material and thickness may be applied, but for a 200 l
drum 0.11 cm of iron was used with the other two layers set to 0 cm of none.
Modelling was completed by entering the count time, height above sea level, detection limit
required (i.e. Critical Level or Minimum Detectable Amount) and number of sides of the
waste package counted (2 or 4) for computation of the Geometric Attenuation (GA) error.
This was the percentage difference in activity between a uniformly distributed matrix and
activity compared to a single point source of activity at a worst case location.
Assay calculations were performed once all of the above modelling information had been
entered. This gave radionuclide activities, based on uniform activity and matrix distribution,
for each photon measured. All photon energies, for a given radionuclide, should yield
consistent results. If not the modelling was adjusted to get the best agreement. For example,
if the 60 keV signature from Am-241 was underestimating by a factor of two, compared to
the 662 keV Am-241 photon, increasing the steel shielding thickness by 1 mm would give
better agreement.
Another feature is the lump correction routine for U and Pu waste-streams. For example, the
main photons from Pu are at 129 and 414 keV. Underestimation at 129 keV compared to 414
keV is often an indication of photon self-absorption within Pu. The software allows the
analyst to progressively increase the size of the Pu until consistent results are obtained at
129 and 414 keV.
When the analyst is satisfied with the modelling the software can be used to generate an
htm report file. This summarises all of the sample details, modelling and results for
presentation to the customer as an electronic or paper copy.

Radioactive Waste

104
The software is easy to use and a complete assay, from spectrum acquisition to report
generation, takes only a few minutes. This can be further streamlined by using the software
to generate calibration curves when the only significant variable is the matrix mass . As the
mass increases the calculated activity increases and the response factor is yielded from the
ratio of the count rate to calculated activity. In this situation the observed net count rate,
divided by the response factor, yields the radionuclide activity or mass as required.
The main limitation of the software is that it is less accurate for objects counted very close to
the detector due to solid angle and inverse square law effects. Normal counting geometry is
with the detector at one drum diameter from the drum wall.
There are a number of other software packages available that can be used as an alternative
to SNAP. However, SNAP has a proven record at both Los Alamos National Laboratory
(LANL) in the USA and AWE. Also inter-comparison studies, against benchmark techniques
like the Segmented Gamma Scanner (SGS), have shown that SNAP gives similar results with
the advantages of simplicity, speed, lower costs and improved detection limits (Miller,
2008). Eberline Services have reported similar results (Lasher, 2009).
2.2 LRGS
The IS 610 LRGS was originally developed by AWE for the detection of low energy photons
from low level Pu and U ground contamination. It can be used as a hand held monitor or
mounted on its tripod (figure 2).

Fig. 2. LRGS positioned for HEPA filter monitoring
The Pu version of the IS610 uses a 75 mm diameter by 1 mm thick NaI(Tl) crystal and three
ROIs at 10-24, 47-72 and 10-72 keV for detection of Am-241 @ 60 keV and L x-rays @ 17 keV .
The U version has a thicker (10 mm ) crystal with ROIs at 10-28, 48-74 and 161-237 keV for
detection of the higher energy U-235 photon @ 186 keV.

Radioactive Waste Assay for Reclassification

105
The IS610 is cheaper and easier to use than SNAP, but is much less versatile and has poorer
detection levels. It was therefore only used in less challenging scenarios, where it could be
calibrated using a traceable source and simulated waste, such as Pu contaminated HEPA
filters where the only significant photon yield is at 60 keV (Miller, 2003).
2.3 GC
Better detection levels were achieved using a GC system. This detects all photons from 50
keV up to 2 MeV and has a 350 l counting chamber (63.5 cm high, 63.5 cm wide, 87 cm
deep). All six sides of the chamber are surrounded with plastic scintillation photon detectors
(50 mm thick) and lead shielding (25 mm thick). The aluminium base plate of the chamber is
linked to a load cell in order to provide a measure of the waste mass. Waste items are
introduced and removed using doors at the front and rear of the monitor (figure 3).








Fig. 3. GC system being loaded with bagged waste
The GC system must be well shielded and sited in an area with a low and non-fluctuating
photon background. Furthermore wastes must be carefully segregated to provide materials
with low photon attenuating properties, low Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material
(NORM) content and an isotopic fingerprint that is consistent with the calibration (Miller, 2010).
3. Pu waste reclassification
All three techniques described above have been applied to low activity Pu waste streams to
give an Am-241 activity or detection limit that was subsequently converted to a Pu activity
or detection limit using the known Pu/Am-241 activity ratio for the item measured.
Equipment calibrations were checked, using waste package standards prepared by the
National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and measured Am-241 activities were found to be
within a few percent of the true values (Miller, 2011). The following sections review, for each
application, the calibration and performance (i.e. detection levels and uncertainties) checks
done and subsequent results achieved with real wastes where monitored.
3.1 Reclassification of soft drummed Pu ILW using SNAP
Detector response factors (cps/Bq) were measured for an Am-241 source at various
locations within 200 l waste drum calibration standards containing low Z (soft), low bulk

Radioactive Waste

106
density paper and PVC matrices over the range 16.6-72.5 kg net (34.6-90.5 kg gross). These
factors were weighted, according to the relative volumes which they represent, in order to
derive a uniform response factor and quantify the systematic error for non-uniform
activity distributions. Detection levels and random errors were also derived from the
counting data (Miller, 2002). Figure 4 shows how the maximum, minimum and uniform
response factors reduced as gross drum mass increased. The results were fitted with
polynomial curves.














Fig. 4. SNAP response factors
The calibration curve, generated using SNAP software, was virtually identical to the
uniform response curve in figure 4 that was achieved using waste drum standards (Miller,
2009b). Maximum and minimum response was within +/- 30 % of uniform for the lighter
drums and within +/- 50 % for the heavier drums.
Repeat measurements, on blank drums, indicated that the background standard deviation
() was similar to the square root of the background counts (B). Hence, equation 1 gave a
Pu DL (2) of 1.2 Bq/g Pu, given: B = 30 counts, T = 100s count time, F = 15 cps/MBq, G =
60 kg and R = a Pu alpha/Am-241 activity ratio of 10.
DL = (2B/TFG)R (1)
Over the past nine years (December 2002 til June 2011) 4071 legacy drums, provisionally
classified as ILW for long term storage at AWE, were assayed using SNAP. Only 535 (13.1
%) were confirmed ILW, with 1287 LLW (31.6 %) and 2252 LLWD (55.3 %). Similar figures
were obtained for recently generated drums from decommissioning operations: 535 ILW
(16.7 %), 1636 LLW (51 %) and 1037 LLWD (32.3 %). These figures include the results for
both soft and hard drummed wastes.
Detector response versus gross drum mass
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
30 50 70 90
kg (gross)
c
p
s
/
M
B
q

A
m
-
2
4
1
unif orm
max
min

Radioactive Waste Assay for Reclassification

107
3.2 Reclassification of hard drummed Pu ILW using SNAP
Drum radiography indicated that a number of drums contained high Z (hard) wastes, such
as metals, so it was necessary to verify that the calibration curves in figure 4 were also
applicable to these waste streams. This was achieved by comparing SNAP results (Pu g)
with Passive Neutron Multiplicity Counting (PNMC) results (Pu g) for drums having
progressively more metal content and Pu content (Miller, 2009b), but under 100 kg gross.
Figure 5 shows that consistent results were obtained with the 60 keV Am-241 signature and
more penetrating emissions from Pu-239 (129 & 414 keV) and fast neutrons from Pu-240 for
drums containing 100 % metal waste. The SNAP results at the three photon energies were
plotted against the PNMC results and fitted using linear trend-lines (figure 5).

Pu-239 (g) via PNMC and SNAP
0
2
4
6
8
10
0 2 4 6 8 10
PNMC
S
N
A
P
60 keV
129 keV
414 keV
Linear (60 keV)
Linear (129 keV)
Linear (414 keV)

Fig. 5. Comparative results for drums containing metallic wastes
3.3 Reclassification of Pu ILW HEPA filters using SNAP and LRGS
Uniform, maximum and minimum response factors, for Am-241 in HEPA filters, were
derived for the SNAP (HRGS) and IS610 (LRGS) detectors (Miller 2003). Table 2 summarises
the DLs (2) calculated using equation 1, for a filter counted at 60 cm on two sides, given:
T = 100s; G = 20 kg; R = 10; B = 0.3 cps for SNAP and 10 cps for LRGS; F = maximum,
minimum and uniform response factors for SNAP and LRGS.

Technique Uniform Minimum Maximum
SNAP 0.48 0.43 0.59
LRGS 2.14 1.64 3.09
Table 2. Pu DLs (Bq/g) for HEPA filter assay
Both techniques gave adequate performance for the 100 Bq/g Pu alpha Drigg LLWD
threshold and around 2,000 filters have been downgraded from ILW to LLWD. Further
development is needed to meet the latest EW threshold of 0.15 Bq/g total Pu alpha and beta

Radioactive Waste

108
activity when R was > 10. This might be achieved by counting for longer within a fully
shielded room as used for In-Vivo Monitoring (IVM) of Am-241 in lungs.
3.4 Reclassification of soft bagged Pu VLLW using SNAP
Exempt clearance levels, in the UK, have recently reduced from < 11.1 to < 1 Bq/g for U
wastes and from < 0.4 to < 0.15 Bq/g for Pu wastes. It can be seen, from table 1, that VLLW
categorization avoids relatively costly LLW disposal charges and utilization of limited space
at the UK national LLW repository at Drigg. The lower EW categorization gives a relatively
smaller cost saving compared to VLLW.
Hence, the principal objective of this application was to develop portable HRGS (SNAP) for
the best detection levels and lowest measurement uncertainties for low density soft wastes
generated at AWE. Studies have focused on a typical 10-11 kg bag of waste that can be
conveniently contained in a reproducible counting geometry by placement inside a standard
shortened 200 l plastic waste drum liner. This was monitored as a rotating cylinder and as a
disk counted on each broad side in order to determine the counting geometry with the best
combination of low detection levels and uncertainties.
3.4.1 Measurements on rotating cylinder
The plastic drum liner was cut to 50 cm in height and had an internal diameter of 55 cm and
external diameter of 56.4 cm. Soft waste was represented by 11 kg of paper rolls, with a fill
height of 38 cm, giving a typical soft waste bulk density of 0.12 g/cc. The cylinder was
placed on a rotating turntable and a general purpose, flush collimated, HRGS detector
(HPGe, N-type, crystal: 6.14 cm diameter x 8 cm thick) located at 10, 20, and 25 cm offsets
from the centre/middle of the lead brick shielded drum liner (figure 6).

Fig. 6. Counting Geometry for cylinder
A traceable Am-241 source (259 kBq encapsulated in thin plastic) was placed inside the
waste material and the detector response (cps/Bq) measured at different locations. Each
detector response factor was weighted, according to the volume element represented by the
source position, in order to derive the detector response for uniform distribution of Am-241.
This was plotted against detector offset, together with the maximum and minimum detector
response (figure 7). Data points in figures 7 and 8 were fitted using polynomial (poly)
curves.

Radioactive Waste Assay for Reclassification

109

Detector response versus offset from cylinder
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Offset (cm)
c
p
s
/
M
B
q

A
m
-
2
4
1
uniform
max
min
Poly. (max)
Poly. (uniform)
Poly. (min)

Fig. 7. Detector response factors for cylinder
As the offset reduced detector response increased, but uncertainties increased more sharply.
SNAP software was used to generate comparative uniform response factors that were
similar to those measured (table 3).

Detector offset (cm) Measured SNAP
10 324.7 283.5
20 208.7 194.3
25 167.5 161
Table 3. Response factors (cps/MBq) for cylinder assay
3.4.2 Measurements on waste disk
The Am-241 source was measured at 5 cm intervals along the detector axis and at 5 cm
intervals at 7.9, 15.7, 23.6 and 27.5 cm off axis. All response factors were adjusted for
attenuation by 0.1 g/cc density soft waste by using tables of mass attenuation coefficients
and path-lengths from the source positions to the detector. The uniform response factor, for
a 10 kg disk of waste measuring 55 cm in diameter by 40 cm depth, was then calculated by
weighting each source location according to the volume element that it represented for
detector locations at 10, 20 and 25 cm from the centre of the broadside of the disk. For two
sided counting (i.e. inverting the bag halfway through the count), the maximum response
was calculated as the average of the maximum and minimum on-axis response factors. The
minimum response was achieved for a source location at the mid edge of the disk. Figure 8
shows that all response factors increased as detector offset reduced, but uncertainties rose
even more sharply than noted for the cylinder (figure 7).

Radioactive Waste

110

Detector response versus offset from disk
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Offset (cm)
c
p
s
/
M
B
q

A
m
-
2
4
1
uniform
max
min
Poly. (max)
Poly. (uniform)
Poly. (min)

Fig. 8. Detector response factors for disk
Table 4 summarises the close agreement between measured response factors for the disk
geometry with those calculated using SNAP software.

Detector offset (cm) Measured SNAP
10 453 446
20 297.9 308.4
25 253.9 255.1
Table 4. Response factors (cps/MBq) for disk assay
3.4.3 DL calculations
The DLs (2) in table 5 were calculated using equation 1 with: B = 0.2 cps; T = 1000s; G = 10
kg; R = 10 and the response factors in tables 3 and 4 and figures 7 and 8 at 10 cm detector
offset.

Geometry Uniform Minimum Maximum
Disk 0.063 0.021 0.14
Cylinder 0.087 0.045 0.14
Table 5. Pu DLs (Bq/g) for bagged waste assay
Better DLs were achieved with the disk geometry. However, the 0.15 Bq/g clearance level
for Pu compositions was only just achieved for activity located at the minimum response
position within the waste bag. Furthermore, Pu compositions with higher Pu/Am-241
activity ratios could not be confidently placed in the exempt category.

Radioactive Waste Assay for Reclassification

111
The performance of the technique could be enhanced by using a larger diameter HPGe
crystal since Am-241 response factors are proportional to the detector frontal surface area.
For example an 85 mm diameter probe should improve DLs by a factor of two.
Compressing the disk and increasing the waste mass, was also estimated to give a factor of
two improvement in DLs. However, spectral summing could give a factor of ten
improvement if the spectra from 100 bags were added together (equation 1).
A further factor of 3 improvement could be achieved by monitoring within a shielded room,
such as that used for in-vivo monitoring (IVM), where backgrounds are a factor of 10 lower.
At present this technique is still being developed and not yet being routinely used to
reclassify wastes.
3.5 Reclassification of soft bagged Pu VLLW using GC
GC had the potential to assay wastes with consistent isotopic fingerprints, at the new
exempt thresholds of < 1 Bq/g U and < 0.15 Bq/g Pu, when sited in areas with low/non-
fluctuating photon background. However, careful segregation of wastes was required
because the background counts were significantly modified by waste characteristics, such
as: NORM content, density, composition and distribution in the counting chamber.
3.5.1 Measurements on uncontaminated materials
Only low bulk density, low Z materials were examined because of the difficulties in GC
calibration for high density, high Z objects (Miller, 2010). Approximately 35 kg of each
material type was spread evenly throughout the 350 l counting chamber to give a bulk
density of 0.1 g/cc. Repeat 600 s counts were done to generate ten measurements for each
material. Table 6 summarises the mean and values achieved for the net counts (i.e. gross
counts minus counts for the continuously updated GC background).

Material Net cps Net cps + 2
Empty chamber 1.8 9.7 21.2
PVC 3.4 6.1 15.6
Tyvek 25.0 3.8 32.6
Paper 41.1 9.0 59.1
Marigold gloves 61.5 16.3 94.1
Overshoes 66.1 5.9 77.9
Supertex coveralls 68.0 15.1 98.2
Orange coveralls 138.4 6.9 152.2
Table 6. GC results for uncontaminated materials
The results in table 6 highlight the importance of segregating waste into material types
having similar net cps above background. Detection levels (2) of 0.09 Bq/g Pu were
calculated using equation 2, where: = 10 cps; F = 0.0606 cps/Bq Am-241; G = 35 kg; R = 10.
Variations in F (DL) with source location were around +/- 25 % (Miller, 2010).
DL = (2/FG)R (2)

Radioactive Waste

112
3.5.2 Measurements on Pu wastes
Table 7 summarises the results for eight bags of waste produced by a Pu facility. The sample
activity was calculated by dividing the net cps by the Pu counting efficiency and the sample
mass. The blank activity (i.e. blank cps/FG) was then subtracted to give the Pu activity
measured above the apparent Pu activity indicated for the blank.

Material kg Net cps
Sample
(Bq/g)
Blank
(Bq/g)
Pu
(Bq/g)
PVC 29.9 -8.6 -0.047 0.016 -0.063
PVC 30.2 -5.4 -0.030 0.016 -0.046
PVC 33.7 25.4 0.124 0.016 0.108
PVC 28 10.2 0.060 0.016 0.044
PVC 35.3 9.8 0.046 0.016 0.030
Orange coveralls 17.2 152.5 1.463 0.653 0.810
Tyvek 13.1 1944 24.488 0.118 24.370
Cotton gloves 30.8 35.1 0.188 0.112 0.076
Table 7. GC results for Pu contaminated materials
The tyvek bag indicated a total activity of 24.37 x 13.1 = 319.2 kBq Pu which was equivalent
to 31.92 kBq Am-241 since the GC was calibrated using an Am-241 source and a Pu/Am-241
activity ratio of 10/1 because Pu makes no significant contribution to the photon count rate.
The tyvek bag was placed in a standard 200 l waste drum and assayed using SNAP. This
indicated 38.8 kBq Am-241 which was 22 % higher than the GC, but within the +/- 25 %
uncertainty established for both techniques.
3.5.3 Measurements on NPL standard
GC calibration has been achieved using a volume weighted technique (Miller, 2010).
Verification has been done using a certified NPL volume source that fills the GC counting
chamber. This consists of a corrugated carton (62x62x84 cm) containing a series of nine filter
papers (each 58x58 cm), each spiked uniformly with a standard solution of Am-241 and each
separately laminated. The filter papers were interspersed within the carton between a series
of ten polythene inactive low density inserts (each 60x60x8 cm). The total Am-241 activity
was 2857 +/- 12 Bq (reference time 01/01/10) in 29 kg (around 0.1 Bq/g and 0.1 g/cc).The
mean cps/Bq Am-241 counting efficiency for the source (6.14 %) was similar to that
achieved using volume weighted Am-241 point source measurements in soft waste (6.06 %).
A blank NPL source, with no added Am-241, gave no net counts above background.
4. U waste reclassification
The lower specific activity of U compositions, compared to Pu compositions, results in a
relatively low proportion of U ILW. For example, at the 4,000 Bq/g ILW threshold, a typical
60 kg 200 l drum would contain: 80 mg Pu (3 GBq/g); 80 g Enriched Uranium (EU, 3
MBq/g) and 12 kg Depleted Uranium (DU, 20 kBq/g). Studies have shown that most drums
contain < 1g of Pu or U and underestimation of activity, due to self absorption within lumps

Radioactive Waste Assay for Reclassification

113
of Pu or U, was relatively rare at low activities and was be addressed using the SNAP lump
correction routine (Miller, 2007, 2008, 2009a).
4.1 Reclassification of drummed U ILW using SNAP
Around 100 of the most active EU drums were assayed using SNAP and the SGS. Figure 9
shows that the results correlated reasonably well, but the SNAP results were higher because
small lump corrections were required to obtain consistent results at all photon energies. The
need for a lump correction was flagged by abnormally low 143/205 kev peak ratios, but was
not performed by the SGS.
SNAP V SGS (U-235 g)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
0 50 100 150 200
SNAP
S
G
S

Fig. 9. Comparative results for SNAP and SGS
4.2 Reclassification of bagged U VLLW using SNAP
SNAP software was used to calculate detector response factors, for bagged U VLLW in a
disk geometry, like those presented in table 4 for Am-241 @ 60 keV. For DU the 93 keV
photon from Th-234 was assumed to be in secular equilibrium with U-238. For EU the 186
keV photon was a direct measurement for U-235. Table 8 summarises the comparative
uniform response factors.
The DLs (2) in table 9 were calculated using a background count rate of 0.2 cps for each
photon, 1000s count time, 10 kg waste, the response factors in table 8 and figure 8 at 10 cm
and typical isotopic multipliers (i.e. Am-241 x 10 = Pu; U-235 x 40 = EU; Th-234 x 1.55 = DU).
Although not measured, the maximum DLs for U compositions are expected to be well
within the 1 Bq/g clearance level for U wastes based on comparison with maximum an
minimum Am-241 (Pu) source measurements (figure 8). This recently developed technique
has not yet been used for routine measurements.

Radioactive Waste

114

Detector offset
(cm)
Nuclide keV Measured SNAP
10 Am-241 60 453 446
20 Am-241 60 297.9 308.4
25 Am-241 60 253.9 255.1
10 Th-234 93 - 67.3
20 Th-234 93 - 46.5
25 Th-234 93 - 38.5
10 U-235 186 - 550.3
20 U-235 186 - 378.9
25 U-235 186 - 313.4
Table 8. Comparative detector response factors for VLLW disk (cps/MBq)

Material Uniform Minimum Maximum
Pu 0.063 0.021 0.14
DU 0.065 - -
HEU 0.21 - -
Table 9. Comparative DLs for VLLW disk (Bq/g)
4.3 Reclassification of bagged U VLLW using GC
Thirty waste bags, from a enriched uranium facility, were assayed using Cronos. The waste
was mixed material (PVC, paper, coveralls, gloves) and so it was not possible to subtract a
blank activity for the apparent EU Bq/g from the waste material itself. Hence the net cps
was divided by the EU counting efficiency and the sample mass to give a total EU activity
which included the apparent EU activity from the waste material in addition to any EU
present. The two most active bags were checked using SNAP and this gave consistent
results (table 10). Around 70 % of the bags indicated < 1 Bq/g HEU (table 11). DLs, given a
30s count time and = 16 cps, were around 0.1 Bq/g for the heavier bags and 1 Bq/g for the
lighter bags.

Bag GC SNAP GC/SNAP
1 23.9 19 1.26
8 49.4 41.8 1.18
Table 10. Comparative EU mass (U-235 mg)
The background , achieved for 600 s counting (3.8-16.3 cps), was much greater than the
square root of the background (B = (1800x600)/600 = 1.7 cps). Also, increasing count time
from 60s to 600s gave little reduction in compared to the 10 = 3.2 x reduction in B cps.
This highlights the importance of locating GC in an area of low and non-fluctuating photon
background. High energy photons from NORM (e.g. K-40 in building materials) and cosmic
radiation can penetrate the GC lead shielding and generate lower energy photons that
increase the background . Locating GC within a shielded room, as used for in-vivo
monitoring equipment, would be a costly, but potentially very beneficial option.

Radioactive Waste Assay for Reclassification

115
Bag mass (kg) Net cps Bq/g
5.9 482 12.9
7.1 8.0 0.2
9.4 30.5 0.5
33.7 52.2 0.2
4.4 6.1 0.2
7.3 15.1 0.3
3.8 -9.3 -0.4
3.4 996.1 46.1
10.1 14.2 0.2
6.8 12.0 0.3
7.8 30.4 0.6
3.1 22.2 1.1
2.7 -6.6 -0.4
15.6 -0.7 0.0
6.0 110.1 2.9
4.1 10.4 0.4
11.0 132.7 1.9
5.9 12.5 0.3
6.1 22.8 0.6
7.5 8.4 0.2
10.3 7.3 0.1
11.7 49.7 0.7
4.2 20.8 0.8
2.2 13.6 1.0
10.3 41.9 0.6
5.4 61.0 1.8
5.5 16.8 0.5
4.4 21.5 0.8
3.9 150.9 6.1
6.0 59.1 1.6
Table 11. GC results for EU contaminated waste bags
5. Conclusions
The techniques presented have been successfully applied to the majority of waste streams
encountered at AWE. However there are two main areas of weakness. Firstly, the potential
for underestimation with high density, high Z waste streams. Secondly, achieving adequate
DLs for Pu compositions with high Pu/Am-241 activity ratios.
The NPL Measurement Good Practice Guide, for radiometric non-destructive assay,
indicates that underestimation caused by even the most severely attenuating wastes reduces
to factors of 2 or 3 for distributed contamination that is typical of AWE wastes. Hence, the
techniques can be applied, with caution, to the denser waste streams.
Improvement in DL performance may be achieved by a combination of improved shielding,
more efficient detectors and spectral summing for similar waste packages.

Radioactive Waste

116
6. References
Miller, T. (2002). Assay of Low Level Plutonium in Soft Drummed Waste, Proceedings of
INMM 2002 43rd Annual Meeting on Nuclear Materials Management, paper 118,
Orlando, Florida, USA, June 23-27, 2002.
Miller, T. (2003). Plutonium Assay in HEPA Filters at the Drigg Threshold, Proceedings of
INMM 2003 44th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Materials Management, paper 12,
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, July 13-77, 2003.
Miller, T. (2007). Depleted Uranium Waste Assay at AWE, Proceedings of Waste Management
Symposia 33rd Annual Meeting, paper 7017, Tucson, Arizona, USA, February 25-
March 1, 2007.
Miller, T. (2008). Applications Where SNAP is Best Practical Means for Radioactive Waste
Assay, Proceedings of Waste Management Symposia 34th Annual Meeting, paper 8033,
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, February 24-28, 2008.
Lasher, D. (2009). Use of High Resolution Gamma Technology During Decontamination and
Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities, Proceedings of Waste Management Symposia
35th Annual Meeting, paper 9220, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, March 1-5, 2009.
Miller, T. (2009a). Enriched Uranium Waste Assay at AWE, Proceedings of Waste Management
Symposia 35th Annual Meeting, paper 9034, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, March 1-5, 2009.
Miller, T. (2009b). Developments in Plutonium waste Assay at AWE, Journal of Radiological
Protection, Vol.29, No.2, (May 2009), pp. 201-210.
Miller, T. (2010). Waste Assay at the Free Release Threshold Using a Box Monitor,
Proceedings of Waste Management Symposia 36th Annual Meeting, paper 10007,
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, March 7-11, 2010.
Miller, T. (2011). Application of NPL Radioactive Waste Package Standards at AWE,
Proceedings of Waste Management Symposia 37th Annual Meeting, paper 11004,
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, February 27-March 3, 2011.
6
Estimation of Induced
Activity in an ADSS Facility
Nandy Maitreyee
1,*
and C. Sunil
2

1
Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Bidhannagar, Kolkata,
2
ARSS, H.P. Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai,
India
1. Introduction
In order to meet the ever growing global demand for electricity, accelerator driven
subcritical systems (ADSS) are emerging as one of the preferred choices. This is due to the
fact that in ADSS, the neutrons required to sustain the fission chain reaction in a reactor is
supplied from spallation reaction induced by high energy protons from an accelerator, on a
heavy target. The spallation target is placed in the core of the reactor. The neutrons
produced are used to drive the chain reaction as well as for transmutation of radioactive
waste. When the accelerator beam is turned off the supply of neutrons is stopped and any
criticality accident may be averted. So ensuring safety against any type of nuclear accident is
easier in these facilities as compared to the conventional power reactors. In view of this,
concentrated efforts in the field of nuclear engineering are being directed towards the
development of ADSS facilities. Production of high flux of fast neutrons through high
energy nuclear (spallation) reactions is the main aim of the booster accelerator in an ADSS.
This is achieved through the interaction of high current high energy proton beams on
suitable targets. Running a high energy accelerator incurs a considerable expenditure and
the accelerator parameters are decided for optimizing the cost-benefit of the system
(maximum neutron yield for certain beam energy and beam current). It has been found that
the neutron economy is optimized around 1 GeV proton energy [1, 2]. However, various
structural parameters, target stability, heat generation profile and other logistics are studied
at much lower beam energies [3], which are easily available. Running a high energy
machine at high currents would lead to the generation of considerable amount of
radioactive waste depending on the target-projectile combination. So, in these high current
machines one of the factors constraining the beam current and irradiation time is the
production of induced radio- and chemical toxicity.
Choice of the target in an ADSS facility is governed by several important factors like high
neutron yield, hard neutron spectrum, low radio- and chemical toxicity, low probability of
fire hazard, easy cooling of the system, high target stability, reduced cost, etc. Requirement
of high neutron yield mandates a heavy element as the target material for the proton
induced reaction besides demanding high current beam. Several targets were studied in this

*
Corresponding Author

Radioactive Waste

118
context. Lead and leadbismuth alloys possess certain desirable properties which have
made them to be some of the most suitable candidates for the ADSS target-coolant system
[4]. Both Pb and Bi targets produce hard neutron spectrum for high energy proton induced
reactions. One of the critical operating conditions of ADSS is high volumetric heat
deposition rate. In this regard, Pb and Bi offer low possibility of boiling and loss of cooling,
less fire-hazard (compared to liquid Na), and thereby a lower cost. Hence lead-bismuth
eutectic (LBE) is one of the suitable targets for an ADSS facility. Some of the other heavy
mass targets are W, U. Of these probable ADSS targets, W has similar neutron yield, while
radiotoxicity of U target will be a cause of concern. In ADSS, in order to fully utilize the high
energy projectile beam and to achieve the maximum neutron yield thick targets are used. In
an ADSS, the projectile beam is completely stopped inside the target and maximum number
of neutrons is produced from secondary interactions. So, the thickness of the target is kept
much larger than the range of the projectile in the target. The amount of undesirable
radionuclides produced in an ADSS giving rise to induced radioactivity depends on the
target material employed, the projectile current, the transport properties of the projectile
and the neutrons produced. This induced activity in ADSS target constitutes the major part
of radioactive waste in the facility. The qualitative and quantitative character of this
radioactive waste should be known for safe hands-on maintenance of the facility and final
disposal of the used target and other materials. The nature and amount of radioactive waste
that may be generated can be assessed either through experimental measurements or with
the help of theoretical model based calculations. Experimental measurement is always a
better choice for precision and accuracy in results, but sometimes we need to have a priori
estimate of the induced activity that may build up in an ADSS facility. Secondly, it is not
always feasible to experimentally measure the induced activity at high energies and high
currents. But, even then, the reaction models used to calculate the activity are not capable of
incorporating the characteristics of all physical processes involved in the reaction. Hence the
results need to be validated against experimental data.
Currently two types of target configurations are adopted for ADSS: i) windowless target
and ii) target separated from the beam pipe by a thin window. Different types of stainless
steel are used for the window material of which T91 and D9 are most important. Through
the window the intense beam passes through and a large amount of radioactivity is
induced in the window material [5]. In this paper we have estimated the radioactivity
induced in an LBE target by 1 mA proton beam in the energy range of 400 MeV to 1.2
GeV. As has been mentioned earlier in this section that the neutron cost (estimated from a
correlation between neutron yield and cost of running the accelerator) is minimized
around 1 GeV proton energy. But the neutron yield saturates at ~2 GeV. So we have
chosen the upper limit of our study at 1.2 GeV which is well suited for running an ADSS
and at the same time is often affordable for relatively smaller laboratories. But the neutron
yield, most often, will be higher at 2 GeV which has prompted other workers to study this
energy range for characterization of ADSS parameters. It has also been mentioned earlier
in this section that target stability and other studies can be carried out at a much lower
energy [3]. Moreover, spallation reaction starts to predominate at proton energy of around
300 MeV. Hence we have taken the lower limit of projectile energy in this study as 400
MeV. Thus the three energies selected in our study, 400 MeV, 800 MeV and 1.2 GeV will
help to understand the energy dependence of different variables studied for the ADSS
employing a LBE target.

Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

119
We have also estimated the activity induced in a window material of T91 or D9 stainless
steel. In section 2 we describe the method of calculation with the specification of target
materials, description of nuclear reaction model codes and method of calculating thick
target yield of the radionuclide. In section 3 we discuss the results of our calculations.
2. Method of calculation
2.1 Specification of the target and window materials
LBE target contains 55% Bi and 45% Pb by weight. The two types of stainless steel D9 and
T91 contains the naturally occurring isotopes of several elements like Fe, Cr, Mn, Mo, Ni and
others. The composition of LBE, T91 and D9 are given in Table 1.

Material Constituting Element Weight % Isotope (Atomic %)

LBE Bi 55
209
Bi (100)
Pb 45
204
Pb (1.4),
206
Pb (24.1),
207
Pb (22.1),
208
Pb (52.4)

T91 Fe 88.82
54
Fe (5.85%),
56
Fe (91.75%),
57
Fe
(2.12%),
58
Fe (0.28%)
Cr 9.0
50
Cr (4.34%),
52
Cr (83.79%),
53
Cr
(9.50%),
54
Cr (2.37%)
Mo 1.0
92
Mo (14.84%),
94
Mo (9.25%),
95
Mo
(15.92%),
96
Mo (16.68%),
97
Mo
(9.55%),
98
Mo (24.13%),
100
Mo
(9.63%)
Mn 0.45
25
Mn (100)
Ni 0.4
58
Ni (68.08%),
60
Ni (26.22%),
61
Ni
(1.14%),
62
Ni (3.63%),
64
Ni (0.93%)
V 0.2
50
V (0.25%),
51
V (99.75)
C 0.1
12
C (98.89),
13
C (1.11)
P 0.02
31
P (100)
S 0.01
32
S (95.02),
33
S (0.75),
34
S (4.21),
36
S
(0.02)

D9 Fe 63.782
54
Fe (5.85%),
56
Fe (91.75%),
57
Fe
(2.12%),
58
Fe (0.28%)
Ni 15.5
58
Ni (68.08%),
60
Ni (26.22%),
61
Ni
(1.14%),
62
Ni (3.63%),
64
Ni (0.93%)
Cr 14.5
50
Cr (4.34%),
52
Cr (83.79%),
53
Cr
(9.50%),
54
Cr (2.37%)
Mo 2.5
92
Mo (14.84%),
94
Mo (9.25%),
95
Mo
(15.92%),
96
Mo (16.68%),
97
Mo
(9.55%),
98
Mo (24.13%),
100
Mo
(9.63%)

Radioactive Waste

120
Material Constituting Element Weight % Isotope (Atomic %)
Mn 2.35
25
Mn (100)
Si 0.75
28
Si (92.23),
29
Si (4.67),
30
Si (3.10)
Ti 0.25
V 0.05
50
V (0.25%),
51
V (99.75)
Al 0.05
27
Al (100)
D9 Nb 0.05
93
Nb (100)
Co 0.05
59
Co (100)
Cu 0.04
63
Cu (69.17),
65
Cu (30.83)
As 0.03
75
As (100)
P 0.02
31
P (100)
Ta 0.02
181
Ta (99.988)
S 0.01
32
S (95.02),
33
S (0.75),
34
S (4.21),
36
S
(0.02)
N 0.005
14
N (99.634),
15
N (0.366)
B 10-20 ppm
10
B (19.9),
11
B (80.1)
Table 1. Isotopic composition of LBE, T91 and D9 [5]
2.2 Source term
Radioactivity induced in the window and the target material by nuclear interaction of the
high energy proton beam leads to the generation of radioactive waste. We have calculated
the source term for the production of different radionuclides using two Monte Carlo
nuclear reaction model codes QMD (Quantum Molecular Dynamics) [6] and FLUKA [7].
QMD calculates the production cross section for different radionuclides. From these
calculated cross sections we have determined the total yield for each radionuclide in the
entire target volume considering the gradual and continuous degradation of projectile
energy and flux inside the target. The radiation transport code FLUKA gives the total
yield of some of the radionuclides. The results obtained from the two model calculations
are compared for some of the cases. The calculated results are also compared with a few
experimental data.
2.3 Nuclear reaction models
2.3.1 QMD
The QMD model simulates the nuclear reaction in an event-by-event basis. Pauli exclusion
principle is taken into account by forbidding collisions among the nucleons which lead to
transition to already occupied or partially occupied states. The nucleons are represented by
Wigner densities of Gaussian wave packets of width L of the form [6]
( )
[ ]
[ ]
2
2
0
0
3 2
( ) 1 2
, , exp ( )
2
i i
i i i i i
r r t L
f r p t p p t
L h h


=




(1)
r
i0
and p
i0
are the centroids of position and momentum of the ith nucleon. The distribution
function for the total system is given by

Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

121
( ) ( ) , , , ,
i i i i
i
f r p t f r p t =



The time evolution of r
i
and p
i
is described by,

( ) { }
( ) { }
,
,
i i i
i i i
d
r H r
dt
d
p H p
dt
=
=


(2)
where H is the Hamiltonian for the system. H consists of kinetic energy, Skryme, Coulomb,
Yukawa interaction part and the symmetry energy. Transition between equilibrium, pre-
equilibrium and spallation mechanisms including fast multi-particle emissions is effected by
changing the relative importance of mean field effects and nucleon-nucleon collisions. Non-
equilibrium emissions which play an important role in high energy reaction have been taken
into account [2].
The QMD theory considers realistic momentum distribution of the nucleons inside the
nucleus, multistep process, multiple pre-equilibrium emission process and variation of the
mean field potential due to excitation. Time evolution of r
i
and p
i
are determined from eqs
(2). Particle trajectory is followed through the nuclear volume and once a particle escapes
the nuclear boundary, emission is considered. If the positions and momenta of some
particles lie within a previously defined range, they are considered to form a cluster. A
statistical decay model (SDM) is employed to estimate evaporation from residual nuclei
following fast particle emissions as estimated by the QMD model.
QMD calculates the production cross section of different nuclides. The reaction cross section
of the projectile in the target calculated by the code is not explicitly expressed. In absence of
such information we have used the value of the maximum impact parameter (b
max
) to
approximate the reaction cross section and determine the degradation of projectile flux
inside the thick target. The reaction cross section (
r
) is calculated by,

2
max
1

=


C
r
p
B
b
E
(3)
where B
C
is the Coulomb barrier for the reaction and E
p
is the projectile energy
2.3.2 FLUKA
FLUKA [7] is a general purpose tool for calculation of particle transport and interactions
with matter, covering an extended range of applications spanning from proton and electron
accelerator shielding to target design, calorimetry, activation, dosimetry, detector design,
Accelerator Driven Systems, cosmic rays, neutrino physics, radiotherapy etc. It can simulate
the interaction and propagation of 60 different types of particles from electrons, photons,
neutrons to optical photons, neutrinos, muons etc., most of them of energy from as low as
few keV to several TeV. The code has the latest physics models incorporated and is
constantly being updated with the latest available data. It can handle even very complex
geometries, using an improved version of the well-known Combinatorial Geometry (CG)

Radioactive Waste

122
package. Several user routines are available for very advanced scoring and tracking of
particles of interest.
FLUKA(2011) Monte Carlo code was used to calculate the induced activity production in
the LBE column. The irradiation profile card (IRRPROFI) allows the flexibility of
switching on and off constant beam currents for several intervals and can simulate the
irradiation condition with in-between temporary shut offs. This card was used to simulate
a constant irradiation of the LBE by a 1 mA beam current for a period of one month. A
cylindrical LBE target was chosen as the geometry for irradiation. The length of the
cylinder was kept more than the range of the proton (calculated using the SRIM [8] code)
while the diameter was fixed at 30 cm to take care of the lateral hadronic cascade.
RESNUCLE card was used to calculate the residual nuclei production. For accurate results
the new evaporation, heavy fragment evaporation and coalescence modules were
activated with the PHYSICS card. Heavy recoils too, were transported using the
IONTRANS option as stipulated in the manual. Radioactive decay was requested through
the RADDECAY card while induced activity was calculated at different cooling times
defined by the DCYTIMES and associating one RESNUCLE cards for every cooling time
using the DCYSCORE card. The results were obtained in the units of Bq cm
-3
and were
converted using the volume of the target.
2.4 Thick target calculation
The transport code FLUKA gives the total yield of radionuclides in a thick target while the
nuclear reaction model code QMD calculates the production cross section of the
radioisotopes. From the production cross sections generated by QMD, total yields of
different radioisotopes were calculated by adopting a conservative approach. The total
thickness of the target is such that the projectile is completely stopped in the target. It has
been considered that the thick target is made of a number of thin slabs, such that the
projectile loses equal amount of energy, E, in each of these slabs. Energy lost by the
projectile per unit path length or the stopping power is calculated using the code SRIM [8].
The total yield of a radionuclide produced is the sum of yields of that particular nuclide
from all of the thin slabs at gradually degrading projectile energy weighted by the properly
attenuated projectile flux. Moreover it is assumed that the scattering and absorption of the
neutrons produced by the primary interaction of the proton beam is negligible. The
neutrons produced also contribute to the production of some of the radioisotopes
responsible for augmentation of the final repository of the radionuclides.
The kinetic energy E
i
P
of the projectile incident on the i-th slab and the slab thickness x
i
are,
respectively, given by [9,10],
( )
1
0
1
/
i
p
i
p
i
p p
E
i
E
E E i E
dE
x
dE dx
+
=
=


where E
0
p
is the incident energy. Using this formalism we estimated the yield and activity of
radionuclides from calculated formation cross sections in the QMD code.

Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

123
3. Results and discussion
We have used reaction model codes to estimate the activity induced in LBE, T91 and D9
targets. Since the reaction model codes use several approximations and cannot incorporate
all the detailed features of nuclear reactions, these codes need to be validated against
experimental data. We have compared a few experimentally measured cross sections for
formation of nuclides by proton induced reaction on Pb and Bi target with those obtained
from QMD calculations. This comparison is shown in Table 2. From Table 2 we see that the
measured cross sections are fairly reproduced by the calculated values in the energy range
considered. We have not compared the cross section calculated by FLUKA with measured
data in this work, but the code has already been well validated.

Reaction Energy (MeV) Cross section (mb)
Experiment QMD
nat
Pb (p, X)
200
Tl 660 28.0 8 [11] 17.0
nat
Pb (p, X)
198
Au 660 1.8 0.3 [11] 2.7
209
Bi(p,7n5p)
198
Au 1500 0.4 0.1 [12] 1.0
Table 2. Comparison of experimentally measured [11,12] and QMD calculated cross sections
for a few nuclides

Z A Nuclide Half-life Radiation energy (MeV)

1 3
3
H 12.33 y
6 14
14
C 5730 y
11 22
22
Na 2.6 y 0.511, 1.27
11 24
24
Na 14.96 y
19 40
40
K 1.277e+9 y , 1.46
20 45
45
Ca 162.61 d
27 60
60
Co 1925.1 d 1.17, 1.33
53 125
125
I 59.408 d
53 126
126
I 13.11 d ,
53 131
131
I 8.02 d 0.364
54 127
127
Xe 36.34 d
55 131
131
Cs 9.689 d
55 132
132
Cs 6.479 d ,
55 134
134
Cs 2.0648 y 0.136, 0.475
56 131
131
Ba 11.5 d 0.123, 0.216, 0.496
56 133
133
Ba 3854 d 0.303, 0.356, 0.383
57 140
140
La 1.678 d 0.487
78 188
188
Pt 10.2 d ,

Radioactive Waste

124
Z A Nuclide Half-life Radiation energy (MeV)
78 190
190
Pt 6.5e+11 y
78 191
191
Pt 2.96 d
79 195
195
Au 186.1 d 0.261
79 196
196
Au 6.183 d , 0.333, 0.355
80 194
194
Hg 520 y
80 197
197
Hg 64.14 h 0.077
80 203
203
Hg 46.612 d 0.279
81 200
200
Tl 26.1 h
81 201
201
Tl 72.91 h 0.167
81 202
202
Tl 12.23 d
81 204
204
Tl 3.78 y , 0.439
82 202
202
Pb 52.5e3 y 0.422, 0.787, 0.96
82 203
203
Pb 51.873 h 0.279, 0.401
82 205
205
Pb 1.53e7 y
83 205
205
Bi 15.31 d
83 206
206
Bi 6.243 d
83 207
207
Bi 31.55 y
0.569, 0.894, 1.43,
1 77
83 208
208
Bi 3.68e+5 y 0.51, 0.65, 0.921
Table 3. Half-life and radiation type of radionuclides for which activity is estimated after 30
days of irradiation [13]
In this work, we have studied the activities of various radionuclides produced, for 30 days of
irradiation, due to proton induced reactions on LBE target in the projectile energy range of 400
MeV to 1.2 GeV at a beam current of 1 mA. Induced activities of nuclides calculated using QMD
and FLUKA are reported. The list of radionuclides along with their half-lives and type of
radiation emitted are given in Table 3. The neutrons produced in the primary interaction also
contribute to activity build-up for nuclides near the target mass range. But this has not been
taken into account in the QMD calculations. Activity of different radionuclides is estimated for
continuous irradiation ranging from 1 day to a maximum period of 30 days. In calculating the
induced activity in LBE target we have considered the target thickness to be sufficiently larger
than the range of the proton in LBE at the incident projectile energy. As a result the radioactivity
induced by the primary projectile has become independent of the target volume.
In figures 1 to 4 we have shown the activity of radionuclides in the mass range of 3 to 208
formed due to proton induced reactions on LBE for 400 MeV, 800 MeV and 1.2 GeV
calculated using the code QMD. The radionuclides considered are those having half-lives of
more than several days. In some of the cases the product radionuclide may be formed either
in the ground state or in a metastable state. Since the codes do not distinguish between
formation in the ground or metastable state, in the case of such radionuclides, we have
considered the half-life of the ground state unless the metastable state is much longer lived
than the ground state. Figure 1 shows the activity build-up of
3
H,
14
C,
22, 24
Na,
45
Ca and
60
Co.

Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

125
3
H,
45
Ca and
60
Co are nuclides of concern for radiotoxicity of the environment while
14
C and
22
Na are biologically important. It has been observed that for 400 MeV incident proton
energy the activity build-up for 30 days of irradiation is in the range of 10
10
to 2x10
11
Bq for
all the species except for
14
C. Maximum activity of the order of 2.3x10
11
Bq is produced for
45
Ca.
14
C is a much longer lived isotope than the other product nuclides shown here. The
reaction system considered in this plot produces an activity of ~2x10
7
Bq for
14
C.
As we go to higher projectile energies the variation in the activity build-up pattern with
nuclide species changes for the same mass range. In figure 1b we see that for 800 MeV proton
energy maximum activity of the order of ~ 8.8x10
11
Bq is obtained for
3
H while
45
Ca activity is
slightly less (~ 7.0x10
11
Bq). At the highest energy 1.2 GeV of the entire energy range
considered
3
H still have maximum activity of 2.3x10
12
Bq while
45
Ca has a slightly lower
activity of 6.3x10
11
Bq than that at 800 MeV. This observation is explained from the fact that as
we go to higher energies, production of high energy neutrons and projectile-like fragments
increase [14, 15], competition between a larger number of evaporation channels also come into
play [5]. It has been observed from figure 1 that for the nuclide species and the energy range
considered, saturation activity is not reached for any of the products for 30 days of irradiation.
Figures 2 (a), (b) and (c) show the activity build-up of different radionuclides in the mass
range of 125 to 140.
125,131
I are biologically important radionuclide as they are used for
diagnosis and therapy of thyroid malfunction, Cs is a bone seeking element, radioactive Xe
adds to the radiotoxicity of the environment while Ba and La are important lanthanides.
From figure 2 we observe that at 400 MeV beam energy maximum activity is obtained for
132
Cs which is of the order of 1.9x10
12
Bq while minimum activity (~1.2x10
10
Bq) is obtained
for
134
Cs which is a very long lived isotope. At 800 MeV projectile energy the trend of the
activity build-up changes and maximum activity is produced for
131
Ba while
132
Cs is
produced with an activity less than that by 7.7%. Activity of
134
Cs is higher (~3.6x10
10
Bq)
than the minimum activity of the order of 1.6x10
10
Bq obtained for
133
Ba. At 1.2 GeV,
variation of induced activity formation with nuclide species again changes and
140
La is
produced with maximum activity of ~ 3.0x10
12
Bq. Minimum activity at this energy is
obtained with
133
Ba. It has also been observed that for the mass range considered in figure 2
and for 30 days of irradiation, saturation activity is reached only
140
La at 800 MeV and 1.2
GeV beam energy, while at 400 MeV no significant activity of
140
La is produced.
In figures 3 (a), (b) and (c) we have plotted the induced activity of some radionuclides in the
noble metal group and Hg for 400, 800 MeV and 1.2 GeV proton induced reaction on LBE.
From these figures we see that for the isotopes of Pt, Au and Hg shown, the magnitude of
maximum activity obtained is much larger than the other two mass groups studied.
Maximum activities of 3.2x10
13
Bq, 4.0x10
13
Bq, 3.4x10
13
Bq, respectively, are produced for
197
Hg for the three beam energies considered while minimum activity is achieved for
194
Hg.
In this mass region saturation activity is obtained for
194
Au and
197
Hg. In figures 4 (a), (b)
and (c) we have plotted the activities produced for nuclides close to the target nuclides.
From this figure it has been observed that for the entire mass range of product nuclide
considered maximum activity is obtained for
203
Pb and
200
Tl. These activities attain the
highest value at 800 MeV and are of the order of 5.5x10
13
Bq and 6.5x10
13
Bq, respectively.
Activity produced for
201
Tl in 30 days irradiation is similar to that for
200
Tl at 400 MeV, but
at 800 MeV and 1.2 GeV proton energy, these are less than the induced activity of
200
Tl by
27% and 15% respectively.

Radioactive Waste

126





Fig. 1. Activity build-up of some radionuclides in the mass range 3 60 for 1 mA proton
beam induced reaction on LBE target at beam energy of (a) 400 MeV, (b) 800 MeV and
(c) 1.2 GeV
(a)
(b)
(c)

Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

127





Fig. 2. Activity build-up of some radionuclides in the mass range 125 140 for 1 mA proton
beam induced reaction on LBE target at beam energy of (a) 400 MeV, (b) 800 MeV and
(c) 1.2 GeV
(a)
(b)
(c)

Radioactive Waste

128





Fig. 3. Activity build-up of some radionuclides in the mass range 188 203 for 1 mA proton
beam induced reaction on LBE target at beam energy of (a) 400 MeV, (b) 800 MeV and
(c) 1.2 GeV
(a)
(b)
(c)

Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

129





Fig. 4. Activity build-up of some radionuclides in the mass range 200 207 for 1 mA proton
beam induced reaction on LBE target at beam energy of (a) 400 MeV, (b) 800 MeV and
(c) 1.2 GeV
(a)
(b)
(c)

Radioactive Waste

130
We have also calculated the activity of various radionuclides produced in proton induced
reaction on LBE target in the energy range from 400 MeV to 1.2 GeV using the code
FLUKA. In Table 4 we have given these calculated activities of several radionuclides for
proton energies of 600 MeV and 1.0 GeV. From the table we see that for both the projectile
energies considered maximum activities of the order of 6.0x10
14
Bq and 1.0x10
15
Bq,
respectively are obtained for
201
Tl while minimum activity is produced for
205
Pb. This
minimum activity is of the order of 3.6x10
6
Bq and 7.7x10
6
Bq respectively. It has also been
observed that saturation activities are reached for
191
Pt,
196
Au,
197
Hg,
200,201
Tl,
203
Pb. Our
analysis revealed that the activity induced for various radionuclides after 30 days of
irradiation as calculated by FLUKA is underpredicted to a small extent by the QMD
calculation. This is explained from the fact that FLUKA simulations also take into account
the activation of the target nuclei by the neutrons produced in primary interaction besides
activation by the primary projectile. But in QMD calculation we have not included the
production of radionuclides by neutrons.
In figures 5 and 6 we have shown the yield of different nuclides plotted against atomic
number Z and mass number A for proton energy 600 MeV and 1.0 GeV, respectively. In fig.
5 we see that in the mass range upto A=150, yield of most of the nuclides are in the range of
10
11
atoms. Some of the nuclides in the range Z= 40 50 and A = 100 125 are produced
with a yield of 10
14
atoms. But as we approach nearer to the target mass region the yield of
nuclides increases to ~ 10
15
10
16
atoms. At projectile energy of 1.0 GeV this general trend of
variation of yield for different species of nuclides remain the same, but the absolute yield of
the nuclides increase, particularly for higher mass nuclides. The maximum yield of the
target like nuclides is of the order of 10
16
.



Fig. 5. Yield of nuclides for 1 mA, 600 MeV proton irradiation of LBE target for 30 days,
plotted against atomic no. Z and mass no. A
Atomic no. Z
M
a
s
s

n
o
.

A


Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

131
A Z Nuclide Activity (Bq) for proton energy (MeV)


600 MeV 1.0 GeV



208 83
208
Bi 2.5E+08 5.8E+08
205 82
205
Pb 3.62E+06 7.70E+06
203 82
203
Pb 7.7E+14 1.4E+15
202 82
202
Pb 7E+08 1.2E+09
204 81
204
Tl 1.1E+12 2.2E+12
202 81
202
Tl 8E+13 1.6E+14
201 81
201
Tl 6E+14 1E+15
200 81
200
Tl 5.3E+14 8.8E+14
203 80
203
Hg 1.9E+12 4.4E+12
197 80
197
Hg 3E+14 4.8E+14
194 80
194
Hg 2.3E+10 3.6E+10
196 79
196
Au 2.3E+12 6E+12
195 79
195
Au 2.4E+13 3.7E+13
193 78
193
Pt 2.4E+11 3.9E+11
191 78
191
Pt 9.8E+13 1.8E+14
188 78
188
Pt 6.2E+13 1.3E+14
60 27
60
Co 6.9E+09 2E+10
45 20
45
Ca 1.8E+10 7.6E+10
24 11
24
Na 4.5E+11 1.8E+12
22 11
22
Na 3.7E+08 2E+09
14 6
14
C 2E+07 9E+07
3 1
3
H 3.3E+12 8E+12
Table 4. Activity of radionuclides after 30 days of irradiation as calculated by FLUKA for
600 MeV and 1.0 GeV proton induced reaction on LBE target.

Fig. 6. Yield of nuclides for 1 mA, 1000 MeV proton irradiation of LBE target for 30 days,
plotted against atomic no. Z and mass no. A
M
a
s
s

n
o
.

A

Atomic no. Z

Radioactive Waste

132
In the case of LBE target irradiated by a proton beam, one of the major concern on
radiotoxicity is the production of
210
Po via the production of emitter
210
Bi by neutron
induced reaction.
210
Po is an emitter and pose a potential hazard for internal
contamination. We have estimated the production and decay of
210
Po using the code
FLUKA. Figure 7 shows the activity of
210
Po over cooling times of 10
2
sec to 10
7
sec after
beam shutdown at the end of 30 days of irradiation.


Fig. 7. Activity of
210
Po, produced from 1 mA proton beam irradiation of LBE target at
different projectile energies, for 30 days, over different cooling times.
In the next part we report the induced activity in the window material made of T91 and
D9 stainless steel. T91 and D9 are metal alloys used as the beam window in an ADSS
facility. Isotopic composition of the window materials are given in section 2.1, Table 1.
The window is not used as a stopping material, but only attenuates the beam. We have
considered a thickness of 2.5 cm for the beam window. The build-up of radioactivity in
T91 windows by proton induced reactions at beam energies of 400 MeV, 800 MeV and 1.2
GeV is shown in figures 8 (a), (b) and (c). From these figures we see that maximum
activity is reached for
51
Cr of the order of 4.6x10
13
Bq 6.0x10
13
Bq. The radioactivities
produced for most of the other nuclides are in the range of 10
11
Bq 10
12
Bq. Smallest
activity is produced for
22
Na and
39
Ar in the range of 10
9
Bq 10
10
Bq. From these figures
we see that for 30 days of irradiation, saturation activities are reached for
24
Na and
41
Ar.
Gaseous radiotoxicity due to
3
H builds up from an activity of ~ 10
11
- 10
12
Bq and is much
lower than the maximum activity produced.

Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

133
(a)
1.0E+08
1.0E+09
1.0E+10
1.0E+11
1.0E+12
1.0E+13
1.0E+14
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Irradiation time (days)
A
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

(
B
q
)
3H 24Na 33P 35S
39Ar 41Ar 45Ca 46Sc
48V 49V 51Cr 54Mn
55Fe 55Co 56Co
(b)
1.0E+08
1.0E+09
1.0E+10
1.0E+11
1.0E+12
1.0E+13
1.0E+14
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Irradiation time (days)
A
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

(
B
q
)
3H 22Na 24Na
33P 35S 39Ar
41Ar 45Ca 46Sc
48V 49V 51Cr
54Mn 55Fe


Radioactive Waste

134



(c)
1.0E+08
1.0E+09
1.0E+10
1.0E+11
1.0E+12
1.0E+13
1.0E+14
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Irradiation time (days)
A
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

(
B
q
)
3H 22Na 24Na 33P
35S 39Ar 41Ar 45Ca
46Sc 48V 49V 51Cr
54Mn 55Fe




Fig. 8. Activity build-up of radionuclides in T91 window material for 1 mA proton beam
induced reaction at beam energy of (a) 400 MeV, (b) 800 MeV and (c) 1.2 GeV
In figures 9 (a), (b) and (c) we have shown the build-up of radioactivity for the same
radionuclides as in the case of T91 along with some additional nuclides produced in proton
induced reactions on D9 at projectile energies of 400 MeV, 800 MeV and 1.2 GeV. The
activity build-up pattern for different radionuclide species in this case is similar to that in
the case of T91 target. In the case of D9 window we observe production of
60
Co for beam
energies of 800 MeV and 1.2 GeV. Among the various radioisotopes studied for D9 window,
60
Co is produced with minimum activity, has a half-life of 5.27 years, has two strong
characteristic -rays and hence is a source of potential hazard. Activity of
60
Co is produced
in the range of 5.0x10
8
Bq 1.2x10
9
Bq. Proper precautionary measure need be taken for
handling these window materials.

Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

135
(a)
1.0E+08
1.0E+09
1.0E+10
1.0E+11
1.0E+12
1.0E+13
1.0E+14
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Irradiation time (days)
A
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

(
B
q
)
3H
24Na
33P
35S
39Ar
41Ar
45Ca
48V
51Cr
54Mn
55Fe
55Co
56Co
57Co
(b)
1.0E+07
1.0E+08
1.0E+09
1.0E+10
1.0E+11
1.0E+12
1.0E+13
1.0E+14
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Irradiation time (days)
A
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

(
B
q
)
3H
22Na
24Na
33P
35S
39Ar
41Ar
45Ca
48V
51Cr
54Mn
55Fe
55Co
56Co
57Co
60Co


Radioactive Waste

136



(c)
1.0E+07
1.0E+08
1.0E+09
1.0E+10
1.0E+11
1.0E+12
1.0E+13
1.0E+14
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Irradiation time (days)
A
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

(
B
q
)
3H
22Na
24Na
33P
35S
39Ar
41Ar
45Ca
48V
51Cr
54Mn
55Fe
55Co
56Co
57Co
60Co




Fig. 9. Activity build-up of radionuclides in D9 window material for 1 mA proton beam
induced reaction at beam energy of (a) 400 MeV, (b) 800 MeV and (c) 1.2 GeV
4. Conclusion
It has been observed from the analysis of the present work that a significant inventory of
radiotoxic isotopes are produced due to irradiation of LBE target by protons in the energy
range of 400 MeV to 1.2 GeV at a beam current of 1 mA. Highest yield of radioisotopes with
high radiotoxicity like
3
H,
14
C,
22
Na,
60
Co,
203
Hg,
210
Po is obtained at 1.2 GeV proton energy
and it has been observed that production of radiotoxic nuclides increases with increasing
proton energy. This is undesirable, but on the other hand neutron yield increases with
increasing proton energy, which is desirable. Thus a compromise has to be struck between

Estimation of Induced Activity in an ADSS Facility

137
the two conflicting requirements. QMD calculations for 0.4, 1.2 and 2.0 GeV proton induced
reactions on LBE target show that the ratio total neutron yield/total mass yield (which is an
indicator of the neutron economy against radioactive waste generation) increases from ~8.0
at 0.4 GeV to 9.0 at 1.2 GeV and then decreases to ~8.36 at 2.0 GeV.
In an ADSS, a window is used to separate the beam transport pipe from the liquid metal
target. T91 target window is known to perform better under severe stress to which the ADSS
target window is subjected to and in handling the large amount of heat developed. Our
study shows that the induced radioactivity in T91 window due to 1.2 GeV 1 mA proton
beam is higher than that in D9 window by ~10% but is still preferred for its better
performance under severe conditions [16].
Many of the radioisotopes produced are or + active and should be properly shielded
against internal contamination along with the emitters. Maximum activity is produced for
200,201
Tl and
203
Pb of the order of 6x10
7
MBq. Half-lives of these isotopes are of the order of 1-
3 day and proper decay time may be allowed for these activities to cool down to the
acceptable limit.
207
Bi, having a half-life of 31.55 years and characteristic -ray emissions with
energies 0.569, 0.894 and 1.43 MeV, is produced with an activity of 10
4
MBq. Precautionary
measure should be taken for handling of target assembly and disposal of used target with
such long-lived activities. Total containment of induced activity during and after operation
and proper waste disposal facility should be in place for efficient running of the ADS
system.
210
Po activity, which is a potential source of -contamination, is generated to the
extent of ~ 8 9 x10
6
MBq.
3
H, which poses radiation hazard threat to the environment by
adding to ground water contamination, is produced with an activity of 10
5
MBq from the
irradiation of T91 and D9 beam windows. Proper containment for both
3
H and
210
Po should
be ensured to protect plant personnel and environment from unwanted exposure to
radiation while operating a target assembly containing a beam window.
In a high energy accelerator like one in ADSS, neutrons from the primary interaction
contribute a significant fraction of the total radioisotope inventory. This should be taken into
account while calculating the production cross section of the nuclides in the framework of
QMD model. The inventory of radioisotopes presented in this work should provide an
estimate of the total induced activity in such an ADSS facility using LBE target either with a
beam window of stainless steel or a windowless target. Calculated values of induced
activity will be scaled up by the ratio of currents if the system need be run at higher
currents.
5. Acknowledgement
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support provided by Ms. C. Lahiri, presently at
Physics Department, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, by assisting in a part of the
calculations. should be replaced by .part of the calculations and by CBAUNP project,
SINP.
6. References
[1] A Letourneau et al, Nucl. Instrum. Methods B70, (2000) 299.
[2] Maitreyee Nandy and P.K. Sarkar, PRAMANA-Journal of Physics 61 (4) (2003) 675

Radioactive Waste

138
[3] P. Vladimirov, A. Mslang, J. Nucl. Mater Part 1 329333 (2004) 233.
[4] T. Obara, T. Miura, H. Sekimoto, Prog. Nucl. Energy 47 (14) (2005) 577; J. Zhang, N. Li, J.
Nucl. Mater 326 (23) (2004) 201.
[5] Maitreyee Nandy and P.K. Sarkar, Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. A 583 (2007) 248
[6] K Niita, S Chiba, T Maruyama, T Maruyama, H Takada, T Fukahori, Y Nakahara and A
Iwamoto, Phys. Rev. C52, 2620 (1995); K Niita, T Maruyama, T Maruyama and A
Iwamoto, Prog. Theor. Phys. 98, 87 (1997)
[7] A Fasso, et al FLUKA: a multi-particle transport code, (2005), CERN-2005-10.
[8] J.F. Ziegler, J.P. Biersack, U. Littmark, The Stopping and Range of Ions in Solids,
Pergamon Press, New York, 1985.
[9] M. Nandy, T. Bandyopadhyay, P.K. Sarkar, Phys. Rev. C 63 (2001) 034610.
[10] Sunil C., Maitreyee Nandy and P.K. Sarkar, Phys. Rev. C 78 (2008) 064607.
[11] http//www.nndc.bnl.gov, C,96MOSCOW, 221,96.
[12] http//www.nndc.bnl.gov, C,96SAROV,184,(1996).
[13] R.B. Firestone et al, Table of Isotopes, ed. S.Y. Frank Chu, Coral M. Baglin, 8
th
edition,
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California (1999)
[14] Anna Kowalczyk, Proton induced spallation reactions in the energy range 0.1 - 10
GeV arXiv:0801.0700v1 [nucl-th] 4 Jan 2008
[15] Y. Kadi * and J.P. Revol, Design of an Accelerator-Driven System for the Destruction of
Nuclear Waste, Workshop on Hybrid Nuclear Systems for Energy Production,
Utilisation of Actinides & Transmutation of Long-Lived Radioactive Waste, Trieste,
LNS0212002 3 - 7 September (2001)
[16] V. Mantha, A. K. Mohanty and P Satyamurthy, PRAMANA-Journal of Physics 68 (2)
(2007) 355
7
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free
Production of Medical Radioisotopes
in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors
D. Yu. Chuvilin, V. E. Khvostionov,
D. V. Markovskij, V. A. Pavshouk and V. A. Zagryadsky
NRC Kurchatov Institute
Russian Federation
1. Introduction
There is an old dispute what is more valuable in work of atomic power stations - the electric
power or by-products of its operation - produced stable and radioactive isotopes. Among
the experts in reactors physics and techniques, an opinion prevails that nuclear reactors
make profit exclusively from electric power production on atomic power stations. However
some specialists consider this opinion rather far from a real state of things.
In the early nineties on the initiative of the American Council for Energy Awareness,
USCEA, detailed research of influence of nuclear and radiating technologies (except for
defensive) on national economy of the USA (Rabotnov, 1999) was undertaken. It consisted of
two parts. In one part applications of radioactive materials in the industry, medicine and
scientific researches were only considered, in the other - actually nuclear power, that is
electric power production at atomic power stations. Results have surprised both authors of
the report, and customers. First, the scale of figures. It appeared, that the total annual
volume of the business connected with radioisotopes application in the United States made
257 billion dollars in 1991. Secondly, this sum appeared three and a half times more than the
full cost of the nuclear electric power (73 billion dollars). Radioisotopes are used in eight
various branches, 3.7 million persons of almost five hundred specialties are employed in this
activity that makes about three percent of full employment in the USA. The total product of
330 billion dollars means that the nuclear-power and radiation complex of the USA looks as
the eleventh on size a world industrial state.
Actually nuclear reactors are generators of a large amount of artificial radioisotopes, basic
of which are fission products and actinium series. It is assumed to consider as fission
products not only the radioisotopes got directly as a result of heavy nuclei fissions, but also
the radioisotopes formed as a result of radioactive transformations and nuclear reactions of
type (n, ), (n, 2n), (n, p), etc. on radioactive and stable nuclei of fission products.
The chapter presents low-waste technologies of medical fragment radioisotopes production.
Schemes of fragment radioisotopes production in reactors with fuel in the form of uranium
salts solution or with molten-salt fuel on the basis of metal fluorides LiF, BeF
2
, UF
4
are
considered. The aggregate state of liquid fuel opens the possibility of selective extraction of

Radioactive Waste

140
fragment radioisotopes
99
Mo/
99m
Tc,
89
Sr,
131,133
I,
133
Xe, etc. from fuel not involving both
235
U
and the basic group of fragment elements. Radiochemical processing of the irradiated
uranium typical for solid fuel systems is as a result excluded, that finally should lead to
decrease in an exit of a highly active waste and reduction of the fission materials flow in
technological process.
2. Application of fragment radioisotopes in medicine
One of the most scale consumers of radioisotopes is nuclear medicine where they are
applied in diagnostics and therapy of heavy diseases. Production of medical radioisotopes
has turned to an important branch of the industry sharing more than 50 % of annual
radioisotopes production all over the world. Today more than 160 radioisotopes of 80
chemical elements are produced by means of nuclear reactors and charged particles
accelerators. The nomenclature of preparations labeled with radioisotopes permanently
extends, new diagnostic instruments are developed. High efficiency of radioisotopes use in
medicine is confirmed by long-term clinical practice. Radioisotope methods are used in
oncology, cardiology, hematology, urology, nephrology, etc.
The simplest and cheapest way of scale radioisotopes production is based on fission reaction
(n,f). The basic medicine radioisotopes formed as a result of uranium-235 fission by
neutrons are
137
Cs,
131
I,
133
Xe,
90
Sr and
99
Mo.
99
Mo is one of the most demanded radioisotopes in nuclear medicine. It is used in
99
Mo/
99m
Tc generators widely applied in the world at early diagnostics of oncologic,
cardiovascular and a number of other diseases. More than 80 % of radiodiagnostic
procedures in the world are carried out by preparations labeled with
99m
c (IAEA, 1999).
From the IAEA data, approximately 15 millions of diagnostic procedures were carried out
with
99m
Tc annually in the world ten years ago, from them 7 millions in Europe and 8
millions in the USA. The total world consumption of
99
Mo/
99m
Tc for that period was
estimated at a level of 6 000 Ci a week (6 day pre-calibration). The prediction of
99
Mo
demand till 2006 made in works (Ball, 1999; Ball, Nordyke & Brown, 2002) is illustrated in
the diagram in figure 1. About 30 millions of diagnostic procedures are carried out with
99m
Tc in the world annually today (Hansell, 2008). The world consumption of
99
Mo/
99m
Tc
has exceeded 12 000 Ci a week, and annual volume of the world market of
99m
Tc
consumption is estimated as US$ 3.7 billion (including cost of medical services).
The basic producers of
99
Mo are Canada, EU and South Africa, which supply about 95 % of
this radioisotope in the world. The technology of
99
Mo production is based on irradiation in
research reactors and subsequent radiochemical processing of the targets from highly-
enriched uranium. Table 1 provides further information on the major
99
Mo producing
reactors (Westmacott, 2010).
Recent series of the not planned stops of the reactors producing
99
Mo, mainly due to
significant age of these reactors, have shown to the world imperfection of the existing
system of supplying this radioisotope and have caused growing concern for the future of
nuclear medicine. The faults in
99
Mo production had negative effect on treatment of
oncologic patients in Europe and Northern America. For example, during these stops,
supply of
99
Mo/
99m
Tc generators in some British hospitals has reduced to 30 % from normal.
The doctors had to choose, who from the patients more than others requires the procedures
with
99m
Tc.
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

141

Reactor
name
Location
Annual
operating
days
Normal
production
per week
1

Weekly %
of world
demand
Fuel/
Targets
2

Date of first
commis-
sioning
BR-2 Belgium 140 5 200
3
25-65 HEU/HEU 1961
HFR Netherlands 300 4 680 35-70 LEU/HEU 1961
LVR-15
4
Czech Rep. - >600 - HEU
5
/HEU 1957
MARIA
4
Poland - 700-1 500 - HEU/HEU 1974
NRU Canada 300 4 680 35-70 LEU/HEU 1957
OPAL Australia 290 1 000-1 500 -
6
LEU/LEU 2007
OSIRIS France 180 1 200 10-20 LEU/HEU 1966
SAFARI-1 South Africa 305 2 500 10-30 LEU/HEU
7
1965
RA-3 Argentina 230 200 <2 LEU/LEU 1967
1. Six-day curies end of processing. In some cases, the maximum production can be substantially
higher that the values listed here for normal production.
2. Fuel elements and targets are classified as either LEU, containing less than 20% of
235
U, or HEU,
which contains greater than 20%
235
U (in some cases greater than 95%).
3. Does not account for increase in capacity since April 2010 with the installation of additional
irradiation capacity. This increases BR-2 available capacity to approximately 7 800 six-day curies
EOP: however it is not yet clear what normal production will be at the facility.
4. These reactors started production in 2010, - so some data is not available yet.
5. The LVR-15 reactor uses fuel elements that are enriched to 36%
235
U.
6. The OPAL reactor started production in 2007 for domestic use but has not yet exported significant
amounts.
7. SAFARl-1 is in the process of converting to using LEU targets and expects to have completed
conversion in 2010.
Table 1. Major
99
Mo producing reactors
An attempt to solve the problem of
99
Mo production by building two specialized reactors
MAPLE in Canada was not successful - May 16, 2008 these reactors were finally stopped
because of the made design mistakes. Against steady ageing of the research reactors
which operation time sometimes exceeds 50 years (reactor NRU), this problem becomes
sharper.
Besides, the isotope crisis has drawn attention to one more acute problem production
technology. The fission fragment method is a basis of current
99
Mo production. A highly-
enriched uranium target is irradiated in a reactor, and then processed by one of the known
radiochemical ways.
99
Mo, which specific activity reaches several tens thousand Ci per gram
of molybdenum is separated from fission products (Gerasimov, Kiselev & Lantcov, 1989).
More than 95 % of
99
Mo are produced using highly-enriched uranium (HEU), ~90 % of
235
U.
Commercial producers of
99
Mo spend about 50 kg of HEU annually.

Radioactive Waste

142
The weakest feature of this way of
99
Mo production is extremely inefficient use of uranium.
Only 0.4 % of
235
U is used for production of
99
Mo, and the other part is directed in waste.
Moreover, at fission of uranium a wide spectrum of fragments is formed, which total activity
at the moment of irradiation end exceeds activity of
99
Mo by two orders of value. That results
in necessity of contamination of plenty radioactive waste, including long-lived ones.

Fig. 1. Prediction of growth of demand for
99
Mo in the world (Ball, 1999; Ball, Nordyke &
Brown, 2002)
In Fig. 2 the basic stages of the existing
99
Mo production technology are shown - from
manufacturing of a uranium target to delivering the final product to the consumer.

Fig. 2. Basic stages of the existing
99
Mo production technology
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

143
The third problem of the traditional
99
Mo production is that its target waste can be easily
transformed by known chemical methods to metal HEU - material used in manufacture of
nuclear military loads. Orientation of modern
99
Mo production on the use of highly-
enriched uranium, against gradual deducing of HEU from a civil turn according to the
IAEA non-proliferation concept, creates additional risks for
99
Mo consumers. Thereupon
expected rapid development of the nuclear medicine using
235
U fission products can lead the
next years to serious problems with ensuring the efficiency of the international monitoring
system for non-proliferation of nuclear materials.
In the international community there is a consensus about necessity to limit or even to bring
to naught HEU turn in the civil sphere. Programs, in particular, the program RERTR
(Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors) on reduction of HEU turn in peace
sectors of economy are accepted. The research reactors used for production of
99
Mo will be
gradually converted to low-enriched uranium fuel (LEU) and LEU-targets. Risks from use of
uranium of high enrichment will start to constrain sooner or later, and then can even stop
this production completely.
The world crisis of
99
Mo production gives an exclusive chance for realization of alternative
methods of this radioisotope production, free from disadvantages of the modern
technologies and ensuring large-scale low-waste production of
99
Mo based on the use of
low-enriched uranium.
What could be alternative? The choice, in effect, is limited: building of a new multi-purpose
research reactor, development of accelerating methods or building of inexpensive and
simple in operation solution reactors. Taking into account inertia of the licensing system and
time for designing and building the facilities, the choice needs to be made the next years.
It would seem, the most real alternative to HEU for today is conversion of a research reactor
core for work with LEU-fuel and introduction of new types of targets of low-enriched
uranium. However the target technology characterized by the lowest efficiency of use of
uranium, most likely will not give competitive advantages as the use of LEU will inevitably
lead to involving for manufacture of a considerable amount of irradiated uranium. It will
result in additional loadings on radiochemical processing and in considerable amount of
radioactive waste that, obviously, will raise production cost price. The most research
reactors now producing the basic amount of
99
Mo are depreciated and for their maintenance
in operating and safe condition more and more considerable efforts and expenses are
required. The next years these reactors will demand capital reconstruction or will be
deduced from operation. Other alternative technologies based on neutron activation of
molybdenum isotope
98
Mo or on uranium photo-fission at accelerators, are not effective for
large-scale production and can be applied only for satisfying regional needs.
Renunciation of the traditional technology of uranium targets irradiation and transition to
technologies based on specific physical-chemical properties of liquid nuclear fuel, ensuring
an opportunity to extract
99
Mo directly from the reactor fuel leaving uranium and fission
fragments in it, allow to exclude a problem of highly-enriched uranium contamination and
to simplify the problem of handling the radiochemical processing waste radically. Water
solutions of uranium salts or melts of fluoride salts can be used as liquid nuclear fuel.
The aggregate state of liquid fuel opens the possibility of selective extraction of fragment
radioisotopes
99
Mo/
99m
Tc,
89
Sr,
131,133
I,
133
Xe, etc. from fuel not involving both
235
U and the
basic group of fragment elements. It will lead to sharp decrease in the flow of nuclear

Radioactive Waste

144
materials in the technological process and in the yield of highly active waste. Estimations
show, for example, that a solution reactor of 200 kW power is capable to produce more than
1000 Ci/w of
99
Mo with calibration for 6-days from the moment of delivery.
The technology based on use of homogeneous liquid nuclear fuel possesses a number of
obvious advantages in comparison with a target method:
- All fuel of such a reactor is a target;
- There is no necessity for creation of special facility for manufacturing and
radiochemical processing of targets;
-
99
Mo is selectively taken from solution fuel by sorption on special filters or
spontaneously leaves the molten salt fuel in the form of flying fluorides;
- Uranium and the basic highly active fission fragments remain in fuel;
- Reactors with homogeneous fuel possess immanent nuclear safety (negative thermal
reactivity factor);
- Research mini-reactor Argus with solution fuel in the form of UO
2
SO
4
has operated in
Russia for about 30 years;
- Research reactor MSRE of power 8 MW with molten salt fluoride fuel LiF-BeF
2
-UF
4
successfully operated in the USA within four years, when the effect of spontaneous exit
of a part of fission fragments in the gas phase was observed (including
99
Mo);
- There are no problems with reactor operation on LEU.
Now development and creation of a specialized nuclear-chemical complex for commercial
production of fragment radioisotopes
99
Mo,
89
Sr,
133
Xe,
131
I,
133
I, etc. for satisfaction of
growing requirements of nuclear medicine look actual.
3. Production of fragment radioisotopes with help of molten salt fluoride
nuclear fuel
Transition from the traditional technology of uranium targets irradiation to the technology
based on an unique effect of spontaneous exit of fragment
99
Mo from molten salt fluoride
fuel to the gas phase (Grimes, 1970), observed in the late sixties in the experimental reactor
MSRE (ORNL) allows to simplify a problem of waste disposal at production of fragment
radioisotopes considerably. According to the results of measurements, more than 50 % of all
molybdenum formed at fission of uranium leaves melts. The most of other fragment
elements, such as Zr, Ba, Sr, Cs, Br, I, rare-earth elements and all uranium having steady
well soluble in fuel salt compounds remain in melts.
The idea of use of molten salt nuclear fuel in the reactor technology was proposed at the
beginning of the 50-ties at creation of small power autonomous energy sources. A distinctive
feature of this kind of fuel is the possibility of continuous correction of the chemical
structure and control of nuclear-physical, chemical and thermal processes at its work in the
nuclear reactor.
The molten salt reactor concept was realized at creation of experimental reactors ARE
(Aircraft Reactor Experiment) by power of 2.5 MW and MSRE (Molten-Salt Reactor
Experiment) of 7.3 MW. The first experimental molten salt reactor, ARE, constructed in the
USA in 1954, worked with salt composition NaF-ZrF
4
-UF
4
at temperature 860
o
C (Bettis e.a.,
1957). The basic task of the experiment was confirmation of serviceability and stability of the
reactor with circulating fuel. MSRE operated in Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

145
within four years in the late 60s (Haubenreich & Engel, 1970) with fuel
7
LiF-BeF
2
-ZrF
4
-UF
4
at
temperature 650
o
C. The purposes of MSRE construction consisted in working out the molten
salt nuclear fuel technology, checking the serviceability of some structure units, study of
neutronics characteristics of this reactor type. Corrosion steady nickel alloy Hastelloy-N was
developed, some questions of processing and cleaning the salt were solved during reactor
operation, and its nuclear safety was shown.
Significant researches of molten salt coolants were performed in the Soviet Union (Novikov
et al., 1990). The structural materials on the basis of nickel, corrosion stable in fluorides are
created, the pump, heat exchanging devices of various purposes etc are developed and
checked in conditions of stand tests. Now these researches proceed, mainly within the
framework of the international project Generation-IV on creation of new generation
nuclear reactors.
3.1 Behavior of fission fragments in molten salt fuel
In MSRE, the basic group of fragment elements, such as Zr, Ba, Sr, Cs, Br, I and rare earth
elements, having well soluble in salt compounds remained in fuel. Insoluble compounds
deposited on the surface of structural materials of the reactor facility (graphite, Hastelloy-
N). Krypton and xenon, having low solubility in salt, spontaneously or under bubbling of
fuel by inert gas left the salt melt. Moreover it was found, that a small group of elements, so-
called noble metals Mo, Nb, Te, Ru in the form of volatile fluorides or aerosols entered gas
covering free surfaces of salt. About half of these elements deposited on surfaces of reactor
structural materials and less than 1% remained in fuel salt.
In a series of ORNL 1966-1970 reports the results of numerous measurements of fuel
structure, researches of structural material samples and gas tests from MSRE contour are
published. An analysis of these experimental data has allowed us to reveal certain laws of
distribution of some fragment elements in the reactor facility, to put forward a hypothesis of
the mechanism of noble metals exit to gas volume above the salt melt and on this basis to
propose a new way of fragment
99
Mo production.
In particular, in (Rosenthal et al., 1969) (see tab. 2) the balance of radionuclides in reactor
MSRE is shown. Significant fraction of
99
Mo,
132
Te,
103
Ru entered gas covering free surfaces
of salt. The detection of significant amount of
89
Sr in the gas volume above the salt surface is
connected with its predecessor
89
Kr entering into gas.

Nuclide
Contents (% from calculated value)
Fuel Graphite Hastelloy-N
Evacuated
gases
Total yield
99
Mo
132
Te
129
Te
103
Ru
95
Nb
89
Sr
0.17
0.47
0.40
0.033
0.001
83
9.0
5.1
5.6
3.5
41
17
28
14
17
3.7
18
8.5
50
74
31
49
11
0.11
87
94
54
56
70
109
Table 2. Distribution of fission products in reactor MSRE

Radioactive Waste

146
The assumption was made, that these fission fragments arising in extremely electron-scarce
states, in the process of their thermalization catch electrons, passing a number of unstable,
but volatile valent states (Kirslis & Blankenship, 1967). If the reactor structural materials are
rather inert, and the fuel does not contain significant amount of other absorbers of radiolytic
fluoride, some part of Mo, Te and Ru will oxide up to maximal fluorides and pass to the gas
phase.
In work (Rosenthal et al., 1968), 50 g salt samples were located in hermetic reactionary
volumes connected to a gas contour, from which helium or mix of helium with hydrogen
could be made to fuel melt. For melting of fuel the reactionary volume was heated up to
600
o
C. The gas moved in the tube at the flow rate 10 - 15 cm
3
min
-1
, allowing both blowing
the salt melt mirror and bubbling the fuel. After passage of reactionary volume the gas was
evacuated through a system of filters including few sections of fission fragments catching
metal-ceramic filter, sorbent on the basis of NaF and chemical sorbent. After reactor
operation of 32 000 MWh the filters were removed, each section was separately dissolved
in acid and the solutions were analyzed on the contents of fission fragments and
235
U. Some
measurement results of the salt radioisotope structure are given in table 3.
Calculated by us total activities of radioisotopes collected in all elements of filtration system,
normalized to initial activity in salt test are shown in the same table. The cumulative yields
of radioisotopes at
235
U fission by thermal neutrons, their half-decay periods, chemical
formulas of maximal fluorides of elements and boiling temperatures of these chemical
compounds are also shown here.

Parameter
103
Ru
132
Te
95
Nb
99
Mo
95
Zr
144
Ce
140
Ba
1/2
39.36
days
78.2
h
34.97
days
66.0
h
64.02
days
284.4
days
12.75
days
Cumulative yield of
nuclide at fission

of
235
U,%
3.04 4.28 6.5 6.15 6.29 5.47 6.08
Cross section of the
reaction (n,), barn
7.71 <7 1.73 0.49 2.6 1.6
Nuclide specific
activity in melt,
decaymin
-1
g
-1

7.510
6
1.710
8
10
9
1.210
9
1.210
11
7.310
10
1.610
11

Nuclide concentration
in melt, g
-1

6.110
11
1.210
12
7.310
13
6.810
12
1.610
16
4.310
16
4.210
15

Ratio of total nuclide
activity in filters to its
activity in 1 g of initial
melt, rel. un.
5.6 0.7 0.02 1.1 1.110
-4
2.010
-5
1.210
-5

Maximal fluorides of
nuclides
RuF5 TeF6 NbF5 MoF6 ZrF4 CeF3 BaF2
Boiling temperature of
maximal fluorides at
saturated vapor
pressure 760 mm,
0

272 -38.9 233 36.2 903 2327 2260
Table 3. Radioisotope structure of MSRE fuel (blowing of a salt mirror with helium)
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

147
First of all one may indicate a wide scatter of fission fragments concentrations in the initial
salt sample and a possibility to divide them into two groups by this parameter. The
concentrations of
99
Mo,
132
Te,
95
Nb,
103
Ru are lower by two - four orders of value than the
concentrations of
89
Sr,
141,144
Ce,
95
Zr,
140
Ba, though cumulative yields of these fragments
differ not more than twice. It is impossible to explain the so large difference by burning up
of fragments in the reactor, at the given cross sections. The most probable reason is
connected to individual behavior of chemical compounds of these elements in molten salt
fuel.
In table 3 there are two radioisotopes
95
Nb and
95
Zr presenting the generically connected
pair in the decay
95
Kr
95
Rb
95
Sr
95
Y
95
Zr
95
Nb
95
Mo. At long irradiation of fuel, these
radioisotopes should be in balance, i.e. their activities should be equal. The difference of
95
Nb and
95
Zr activities by more than two orders of value means, that
95
Nb mainly leaves
melt, and
95
Zr remains in fuel.
The observable difference in concentrations of the two groups of radioisotopes specified in
table 3 can be explained by exit of
99
Mo,
132
Te,
95
Nb,
103
Ru to the gas phase in form of volatile
fluorides, boiling temperature of which is much lower than the temperature of salt melt.
Thus refractory fluorides
95
Zr,
141,144
Ce,
140
Ba mainly remain in salt.
Molybdenum has a few stable fluorides, which can be formed under -irradiation of the
nuclear reactor - MoF
3
, MoF
4
, MoF
5
, MoF
6
. At the fuel melt temperature 600
0
C, significant
fractions of tetra- and pentafluoride of molybdenum MoF
4
, MoF
5
and also molybdenum
hexafluoride MoF
6
(boiling temperature of 36.2
0
(Nikolsky, 1998) are in the gas phase. In
case these compounds arise near to borders with the gas phase, they can leave the melt.
In work (Kirslis & Blankenship, 1969), the degree of fission fragments penetration in
graphite of MSRE core was investigated. As well as for the previous experiment, we were
interested by penetration into graphite of generically connected pair
95
Zr
95
Nb. It follows
from experimental data that
95
Nb concentration in graphite has appeared approximately by
three orders of value higher, than
95
Zr. Their distribution on depth of the graphite sample is
shown in figure 3.
It is known, that the radioactive atoms formed as a result of nuclear transformations,
partially appear in chemical compound, at which they were formed, as so-called parent
compound (Nesmeyanov, 1978). Taking into account that zirconium has sole stable fluoride
- ZrF
4
, we estimated the possibility of preservation of the initial chemical form of a molecule
as tetra fluoride after decay of a parent nucleus
95
Zr and formation on its place of
95
Nb
nucleus.
The energy of the exited molecule, which can be spent on break of the chemical binding, is
equal:
R
B
R
M
E E
M M
=
+

where is recoil energy, is mass of the recoil atom, M
R
- mass of the rest of molecule.
0.44E will be spent on break of the chemical binding for a molecule ZrF
4
, i.e. about a half of
95
Zr recoil energy.

Radioactive Waste

148
At
-
-decay of
95
Zr basically two groups of
-
-particles with average energies of 121 and 110
keV (Burrows, 1993) are formed. Recoil energy of
95
Nb for
-
-particles with energy 121 keV
makes 0.77 eV and for 110 keV 0.69 eV. Besides at decay of
95
Zr the -quanta with energy
about 750 keV are emitted. Thus the recoil energy of
95
Nb will make 3.2 eV.
DISTANCE FROM SURFACE (mlls)
d
p
m
/
g
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
5x10
7
10
8
10
9
10
10
10
11
10
12
10
13
10
14
2x10
14



NARROW FACE

95
Nb

95
Zr

Fig. 3. Distribution of
95
Zr and
95
Nb activities on depth of graphite sample contacted with
salt melt in the reactor MSRE core (Kirslis & Blankenship, 1969)
As the binding energy of atoms in molecules is 2-5 eV (Nesmeyanov, 1978), in most cases of
95
Zr decay in a molecule
95
ZrF
4
the formed new atom
95
Nb will be kept in the chemical form
of the parent compound, i.e. as a molecule
95
NbF
4
. The further fate of niobium tetra fluoride
95
NbF
4
is determined by thermodynamics and radiation-chemical processes in molten salt
fuel. In the reactor -field formation of niobium pent fluoride
95
NbF
5
is possible, which at
temperature 600
o
C will be in gas form (
boiling
= 234
o
C), and at presence of the phase border
liquid gas it will leave fuel melt, penetrating, including, into open gas pores of graphite,
which is in contact with molten salt fuel. The boiling temperature of zirconium fluoride is

boiling
= 912
0
, that is much higher than the fuel temperature. Therefore
95
ZrF
4
does not
enter gas bubbles and, accordingly, does not penetrate into pores of graphite that explains
significant difference of
95
Zr and
95
Nb contents in graphite.
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

149
In our opinion, the observed experimental results can be explained by formation and exit of
easily volatile fluorides of noble metals Mo, Nb, Te from molten salt fuel to the gas phase. In
detail the mechanism of
99
Mo exit from molten salt fuel is considered in (Zagryadsky et al.,
2008; Menshikov & Chuvilin, 2008).
The proposed radiochemical model of noble metals exit from fluoride fuel in a gas phase
assumes, that chemical processes in fuel LiF-BeF
2
-UF
4
vary sharply in the field of an ionizing
radiation and are determined by a number of active particles - a complex ion BeF
4
2
,

radicals
4
BeF
-
,
3
2 8
Be F
-
and a number of other ions. The fragment molybdenum formed in molten-salt
fuel at uranium fission exists in the melt mainly in the form of complex ions, such, for
example, as
2
5
-
MoF . Reacting with ions
3
2 8
-
Be F within characteristic time 310
-4
s,
molybdenum ions can form at temperature 600
o
C volatile fluorides MoF
4
, MoF
5
, MoF
6

which, being near to borders with a gas phase will leave the melt. Due to presence in a gas
phase of radiolitic fluorine, molecules
99
MoF
4
,
99
MoF
5
are oxidized to a higher fluoride
99
MoF
6
which is delivered by helium flow into catching system along transport
communications.
3.2 Advantages and possible variants of realization of fragment
99
Mo production on
the basis of molten salt nuclear fuel
Basing on the results of experiments performed within the framework of the research
program at the reactor MSRE and the hypothesis of the mechanism of
99
Mo exit from molten
salt fuel, we proposed a new way of fragment
99
Mo production, using a spontaneous (or
stimulated by bubbling of fuel with inert gas) exit of fragment
99
Mo from molten salt fuel to
the gas phase. For the first time this idea was mentioned in (Chuvilin & Zagryadsky, 1998).
The aggregate condition of fuel on the basis of Li, Be and U fluorides allows to take
99
Mo,
89
Sr,
133
Xe from salt melt selectively, leaving
235
U, and the basic group of fragment elements.
As a result inherent for solid fuel systems radiochemical processing of the irradiated
uranium is excluded, what at the end should result in reduction of highly active waste and
of the flow of fission materials in the technological process.
Principally the process of
99
Mo production in a research reactor can be organized as follows
(Chuvilin & Zagryadskiy, 1997). One of fuel assemblies of the reactor core is replaced with a
loop facility filled with molten salt fuel, attached to a gas contour. As a result of
235
U fission,
in the salt melt
99
Mo is generated, which moves to the salt - gas border and passes to the gas
phase above the salt melt surface in form of fluorides and aerosols.
99
Mo removal can be
intensified by bubbling of helium or argon through salt.
The collected in free volume of the loop system gas-aerosol fraction is removed by purge of
the cavity with inert gas. The gas - carrier containing aerosols and volatile fluorides of
molybdenum enters the catching system, which can be realized as a set of filters, chemical
sorbents or freezing traps. Cleaned from fragment elements, inert gas recirculated in the
loop system. For
99
Mo removal, the filters periodically are directed to radiochemical
processing. Accompanying molybdenum fragment elements deposited in the catching
system are utilized after an appropriate procedure of extraction. The basic scheme of
fragment
99
Mo production in the molten salt reactor is shown in Fig. 4.

Radioactive Waste

150
The possible design solutions of the loop system will be determined by the technology of
99
Mo removal from molten salt fuel. At the first stage of its introduction it is expedient to use
elementary devices that will allow checking up the basic technical decisions, investigating
radionuclide purity of the product, estimating economic parameters of the proposed way of
99
Mo production.

Fig. 4. Scheme of fragment
99
Mo production in a molten salt reactor
3.3 Experimental ampoule loop system RAMUS
For demonstration of physical practicability of the proposed new technology of
99
Mo
production, in the research reactor IR-8 of the NRC Kurchatov Institute experimental
ampoule loop system RAMUS with molten salt fluoride fuel is created, where the process
of
99
Mo production will be realized according to (Chuvilin & Zagryadskiy, 1997). It is
planned to determine the efficiency of
99
Mo extraction from fuel, possibility of transporting
molybdenum fluoride compounds from the reactor core to the accumulating zone for
extraction from the gas carrier flow, and other parameters. Besides that it is planned to
produce as well two other accompanying radioisotopes of medical purpose:
89
Sr,
133
Xe in the
loop system RAMUS.
The loop system RAMUS will be placed in the beryllium reflector of IR-8 having neutron
flux 10
13
ncm
-2
s
-1
. The loop system has the following characteristics:
Molar structure of fuel composition, % 66LiF-33.9BeF
2
-0.15UF
4

Enrichment by isotope
235
U, % 90
Volume of salt, cm
3
450
Power of reactor IR-8, MW 8
Heat generation in fuel salt, kW 3.2
Range of salt working temperatures,
o
C 613 - 680
The basic scheme of the ampoule part of the loop system RAMUS is shown in Fig. 5. The
radioisotopes
99
Mo,
89
Sr,
133
Xe will be evacuated from molten salt fuel by bubbling of melt
with helium. After passage of gas-carrier along the communications and filters, in which
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

151
decay and depositing of short-lived fission products take place, the target radioisotopes are
caught in depositing devices, from which they are extracted subsequently.
During design of the loop system "RAMUS" some technical decisions have required to be
experimentally substantiated. In particular, the data on formation and carrying over of
aerosol particles in the process of molten salt bubbling by inert gases and spontaneous
thermocondensation of salt component vapors are practically absent in the literature. At
bubbling the large interphase surface on liquid-gas border is created that promotes an
intensification of mass-exchange processes, and also a more complete chemical interaction of
gases with liquids.
The experiments on formation and carrying over of aerosol particles by helium in the
process of molten salt fuel bubbling were performed to make more precise the parameters of
the unit RAMUS. The regime of the vertical bubble flow in molten salt 66LiF-34BeF
2
was
investigated at temperature 530-630
o
C. The experiments are carried out on a model
installation reproducing the dimensions of the ampoule RAMUS. Weight and height of
the salt melt made 900 g and 450 mm, respectively. For creation of the gas bubble flow, a
tube was immersed in the salt melt, on which bottom end cylindrical sprayers with face or
lateral holes were installed. 6 types of sprayers were tested. The stabilized helium flow rate
varied in the range of 1.5-4.5 cm
3
s
-1
.
The rate of carrying over of aerosol particles was determined with help of the photometer
FAN-A. Besides that the aerosols were taken out on filters and then the deposit was
weighted and analyzed by ICP-AES and DTA-TDA methods.
Foam was observed on the liquid surface in the experiments with bubbling of the salt melt
by helium. It was possible to get the minimal height of the foam layer 15-18 mm with the
sprayer of three holes =0.5 mm, L = 0.5 mm located uniformly on the circle. The mass
concentration of aerosol particles did not exceed 100 mgm
-3
, and the rate of their carrying
over - 0.1 gs
-1
. The size distribution of aerosol particles has appeared bimodal. The first
mode (superfine aerosol, average particle diameter 0.05 microns) is caused by spontaneous
thermocondensation of salt components vapors at their cooling from 630
o
to 60
o
. 9095
percents of aerosol particles mass consist of beryllium difluoride. That is because BeF
2

vapors pressure at temperature 630
0
more than 50 times exceeds LiF vapors pressure.
The second mode of submicron aerosol is caused by collapsing of bubbles on the boundary
surface foam gas and corresponding dispersion of liquid. The diameter of particles taken
out from an ampoule does not exceed 4 microns, at average diameter 0.5 microns. Their
chemical structure coincides with the structure of the salt melt. It means that the carrying
over of salt components in form of aerosols at bubbling of melt is determined by dispersion
of liquid at collapsing of bubbles on the surface of two phase boundary, and the
contribution of BeF
2
superfine particles generated at vapors spontaneous
thermocondensation makes less than 5% of weight.
The received experimental results have allowed making a conclusion that for the planned
term of the loop system "RAMUS" operation in the reactor IR-8 channel the convective
carrying over of salt components in form of vapors and aerosols will be negligible small and
will not influence gas-dynamic characteristics of communications and the gas flow filtration
system of the loop system.

Radioactive Waste

152

Fig. 5. General scheme of the ampoule part of the loop system RAMUS
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

153
In other series of the experiments, the possibility of MoF
6
loss at its transport along
technological communications of the loop system was studied depending on temperature.
Sorption of MoF
6
from the gas mixture flow (He + MoF
6
) with the contents of molybdenum
hexafluoride in the range 10
12
- 10
13
cm
-3
on granulated NaF was also investigated. The
content of MoF
6
in the gas mixture corresponds to the calculated concentration of fragment
molybdenum in the loop system "RAMUS". The infra-red Fourier-spectrometer FSM-1202 is
used for MoF
6
measurement in the gas mixture. The experiments are carried out for the
middle and near infra-red areas of the spectrum, with use of multirunning flask with the
optical way 4.8 m long, which has allowed measuring MoF
6
concentration down to 10
12
cm
-3
.
The measurements have shown that deep extraction of MoF
6
from the gas flow takes place
even at high flow rates of the mixture up to 10 cm
3
s
-1
.
The process of MoF
6
desorption from the sorbent surface becomes noticeable at temperature
100
o
C. However, as in reactor conditions the temperature at location of the column with
sorbent will not exceed 60C, the effect of MoF
6
desorption in the loop system RAMUS
could be neglected. The measurements of MoF
6
losses during its transport along metal
communications specially prepared in fluoride atmosphere have shown that they are within
uncertainty limits of the spectrometer FSM-1202, and the loss of target product could be
neglected.
Thus, the carried out pre-reactor experiments have allowed estimating a number of
technological parameters of the loop system RAMUS, choosing the optimal design of
pneumatic sprayers and the regime of molten salt bubbling, predicting possible losses of
MoF
6
at its transport along gas communications of the loop system.
4. Production of
99
in solution reactors
The reactor is named solution if its fuel is in the form of water solution of uranyl-sulphate
UO
2
SO
4
or uranyl-nitrate [UO
2
(NO
3)2
] (Kolesov, 1999). At production of
99
Mo in the solution
reactor, the necessity of target manufacturing and their radiochemical processing disappears.
All the reactor fuel is a target.
99
Mo is taken from solution by sorption on special sorbent.
Russell Ball (companies Babcock & Wilcox and Ball Systems, the USA) has proposed a
design of the liquid homogeneous reactor MIPR (Medical Isotope Production Reactor) for
production of radioisotopes, in particular
99
(Ball, 1999). This reactor can work on
uranylnitrate solution in water with low-enriched
235
U (to 19 %) as fuel composition. At
power of 200 kW it is capable to produce by estimations up to 2000 Ci of
99
a day. The
proposed design of a reactor and its characteristics allows receiving the permission to its
placing even in the centre of big cities. The power of a solution reactor is more than 10 times
less than of a traditional research reactor and demands hundreds times smaller amount of
235
U for production of equal amount of
99
. According to estimations, building and
physical start-up of a reactor will take 36 months with the total cost from 6 to 26 million US
dollars.
4.1 Production of fragment
99
Mo on basis of solution reactor ARGUS
Argus is a thermal homogeneous solution reactor, operating at stationary power up to 20
kW in the NRC Kurchatov Institute. Water solution of uranylsulphate by volume 21.1 l

Radioactive Waste

154
with uranium concentration 81.3 g/l and enrichment by
235
U 90 % (Pavshouk & Chuvilin,
2005; Afanasev et al., 1986) is used as fuel.
The fuel solution is located in the case - a welded cylinder with a hemispherical bottom and
a flat cover in which a cooling coil is located. Vertical dry channels are placed in the case:
central and two symmetric peripheral channels in which control and safety rods are located.
The reactor case is surrounded by a lateral and bottom face graphite reflector. Gaseous
radiolysis products of fuel solution are regenerated by means of the system including a
catalytic recombiner, which together with the case forms a tight system excluding leak of
fission products to the environment. The recombination system is based on the principle of
natural circulation of the gas mix along the contour. The solution type of the reactor
provides conditions of the maximum safety which is guaranteed by the big negative
reactivity effect and the optimum concentration of uranium in solution, leading to self-
regulation of the reactor facility.
Since the middle of the 90s years the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute has
been working out a technology and creating a demonstration nuclear-technological complex
of fragment
99
production on the solution reactor Argus. The aggregate state of the
reactor Argus fuel allows
99
extraction directly from fuel solution without influence of
structure and characteristics of the reactor core. For that, after reactor operation on power
solution is pumped through special sorbent on the basis of titanium oxide which provides
the first stage of
99
extraction from all mass of fission products. Thus uranium is not
absorbed, and fuel solution completely comes back to the reactor case. All amount of the
uranium which has undergone fission reaction, necessary for maintenance of reactor power,
is spent for production of the target isotope.
This newest technology of
99
production allows lowering the necessary reactor power 100
and more times as compared to the traditional technology that not only results in reduction
of radioactive waste production, but also supposes reactor locating in the occupied areas
and promotes solving the licensing problems. Thus efficiency of
235
U use comes practically
to 100 % while in target technologies only 0.4 % of
235
U are spent for getting the product, and
its other part after target processing, as a rule, goes to waste (Starkov, 1996). The necessity of
uranium targets manufacturing is, besides, excluded. The developed technology allows to
solve an actual problem of uranium enrichment reduction in production of
99
and to
eliminate public concern in connection with non-proliferation problem. The reactor which
core is water uranylsulphate solution is used for accumulation of
235
U fission fragments.
Thus the yield of fragment
99
per fission of
235
U makes 6 %. Accumulation of
99


in the
core during the reactor operation on power of 20 kW is shown in Fig. 6.
For demonstrating the practicability of
99
extraction technology directly from fuel
solution, the demonstration experimental complex of the reactor Argus presented in Fig. 7
and including a reactor loop, transportation means and hot cells equipment for purifying
99
from fission products has been designed and put into operation.
As a result of reactor experiments the possibility of
99
extraction from reactor solution
fuel has been shown for the first time, and also the following technological process has been
developed. The reactor Argus operates at power within 5 days. After some endurance, the
fuel solution is pumped through sorbent within 3-6 hours. For returning of the rests of fuel
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

155
solution into the reactor case the reactor loop together with the sorption column is washed
out by the condensate which has been accumulated in a system of radiolysis products
regeneration during power operating time of the reactor. Then the column is remotely
placed in a transport container and goes to hot cells, where after sorbent washing by acid
solutions radionuclide
99
is desorbed with alkali. For getting demanded radionuclide
purity two stages of purification with help of refinery columns filled with the same sorbent
of type Thermoxid are taken.


Fig. 6. Activity of
99
in the core depending on reactor operating time


Fig. 7. Transport-technological scheme of demonstration complex at reactor Argus

Radioactive Waste

156
Using the created demonstration equipment reactor experiments are performed on
production of
99
samples and working out of solution technologies. Quality certification
of the samples was performed in Europe (Institute of radioactive elements, Belgium), and in
the USA (Argonne National Laboratory) where the impurity content in the sample more
than 10 times less than in the international requirements (see table 4) was confirmed. The
maximum activity of samples made ~ 10 Ci.
On the basis of
99
produced in the solution reactor Argus, generators of
99m
with the
standard column filled with sorbent of type Thermoxid have been made. Eluted
99m
has
been investigated on injection suitability in State Scientific Center Institute of Biophysics
of the Russian Federation and has received a good rating as for radionuclide purity, and
absence of macro impurity of stable elements (manganese).


Nuclide
European
requirements
Results of the samples analyses
IRE (Belgium) ANL (USA)
-activity
/
99
Mo

<1.010
-9

1.410
-10

< 7.110
-10
-activity
89
Sr/
99

90
Sr/
99


<6.010
-7

<6.010
-8


6.410
-9

6.410
-10


1.210
-8
7.810
-11
- activity
131
I/
99

103
Ru/
99


<5.010
-5

<5.010
-5


1.110
-5

0.910
-6

4.210
-7
1.410
-7
Others -, -
(-,-)

/
99

132
Te/
99

133
I/
99

125
Sb/
99



<1.010
-4


<1.010
-4
4.410
-5

3.410
-7

2.710
-7


<3.810
-7
8.910
-8
-
2.110
-7
Table 4. Results of
99
samples quality analysis
4.2 Technology of radionuclide
89
Sr production in the solution reactor
One of the most effective ways is production of
89
Sr from uranium fission products, but
formation of impurity
90
Sr makes impossible practical application of this way when uranium
targets are used. The solution reactor type gives a unique possibility of solving this problem.
The method of fragment radionuclide
89
Sr extraction is based on a possibility during fission
reaction in nuclear fuel of solution reactor to influence the genetic predecessors of a target
radioisotope resulted in nuclear transformations of fission fragments in a decay chain of
elements with the mass number 89:
89
Se
89
Br
89
Kr
89
Rb
89
Sr. The earlier experimental
researches have shown that practically all long-living isotopes of krypton and xenon leave in
the gas phase of solution reactors (Loboda et al., 1989). The basic decay chains of the fission
products, leading to formation of strontium radioisotopes with a half-life period of gaseous
predecessors more than 1 second, are presented in Fig. 8.
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

157
Apparently from consideration of the basic decay chains leading to formation of radioactive
strontium isotopes, the half-life period of the gaseous predecessor (
89
Kr) of a target
radionuclide
89
Sr makes 3.2 minutes, and the half-life period of a gaseous predecessor (
90
Kr)
of the main impurity radionuclide Sr
90
is essentially less and makes 33 s. Using this
circumstance, in the isolated volume of a gas after corresponding endurance it is possible to
reach demanded value of the activity ratio of target gaseous predecessors and impurity
strontium radionuclides, and then to pump over the gas mix through filters in accumulating
volume in which after decay of predecessors
89
Sr will accumulate (Loboda et al., 1989;
Abalin et al., 2000).
An experimental loop system consisting of a closed technological loop with rotation pumps,
valves and vacuumtight connecting units was used for taking gas samples from the reactor
free volume. The hydraulic scheme of the experimental installation is shown in Figure 9.


Fig. 8. Decay chains of fission products with atom masses 89 and 90
The experiments confirming the possibility of
89
Sr extraction from fuel solution of the
reactor Argus were performed under the following scheme. The reactor operated at
power from 5 to 20 kW within 20 minutes. Then after endurance within 5-6 minutes the gas-
air mix was pumped over through a column filled with Rashig rings. The reactor loop
mentioned above was used. Pumping time of the gas mix was 5 minutes, which is enough
for filling the column. The columns were removed after 2-3 days of gaseous fission products
decay. In the laboratory the aggregate taken from the column was washed out with solution
of hydrochloric acid for extraction of
89
Sr and some accompanying fission products.
A series of experiments for confirmation of fragment
89
Sr production using exit of the
gaseous predecessor
89
Kr from fuel solution was performed. Samples of
89
Sr chloride of high
radionuclide purity are got in which
90
Sr impurity content has made less than 510
-4
%. The
typical content of the produced
89
Sr chloride solution is given in Table 5.
With the obtained experimental estimations of
89
Sr yield in a solution reactor we can
compare the specific productivities of reactors BR-10 (Russia, Obninsk) (Zvonarev et al.,
1997), BOR-60, BR2 (Koonen, 1999).) with Argus reactor, normalized to the target mass
and reactor power. For the sake of comparison, we accept the mass of
235
U in the solution
equal to 1600 g, as a target. Table 6 shows specific yields of
89
Sr in various reactor
installations.

Radioactive Waste

158

Fig. 9. Scheme of reactor Argus with experimental loop. 1 reactor core; 2 system of
catalytic regeneration; 3 accumulator of condensate; 4 - heat exchanger; 5 catalytic
recombiner; 6 valves; 7 sorption column; P1, P2 pumps.

Radionuclide
Activity, relative units.
MKF-F MKF-U
Sr-89 1 1 1
Cs-137 1.210
-2
- -
Ba-140 2.310
-2
4.510
-4
4.510
-6

Ce-141 5.410
-4
- -
Table 5. Typical content of the produced
89
Sr chloride solution
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

159
Specific yield of
89
Sr, Bq/g/kW
BR-10 BOR-60 BR2 Argus
7.410
-3
0.01 0.4 45.0
Table 6. Specific yields of
89
Sr in various reactor facilities
The advantage of the 20 kW solution reactor is obvious and undeniable. The expected
Argus reactor productivity of (1.5-1.8)10
3
GBq of
89
Sr a year is comparable with that of
the 60-MW BOR-60 Reactor ( 410
3
GBq/y). However, it is worth noting that
89
Sr in a
solution reactor is a byproduct from its main production of medical
99
Mo/
99
Tc. The target
radionuclide separation occurs spontaneously; a majority of fission fragments remains in the
fuel, and the buildup of radioactive waste with the new technology is very low. The
separated impurity radionuclides
133
Xe and
135
Xe can also be used in medicine, while
137
Cs is
a valuable radionuclide for technical applications.
The unique properties of the solution reactor fuel open the doors for this type of nuclear
installations to the nuclear medicine industry. Separation of radionuclides directly from fuel
solution allows using the low power (50 kW) reactor for production of
99
Mo with the
minimum yield of 1.8510
4
GBq/day, 700 GBq/week of
133
Xe, as well as a number of other
valuable radionuclides (Burrows, 1993; Zagryadsky et al., 2008).
So, the new method for medical
89
Sr production in the reactor with solution fuel is proposed
which is characterized by simplicity, high production efficiency and low buildup of
radioactive waste. The main advantages of the new technology were validated by numerous
experiments. Basic features of the method are as follows:
the mechanism for
89
Sr delivery to the sorption volume of the Argus reactor
experimental loop is based on transport of gaseous
89
Sr predecessor radionuclide
89
Kr;
the radionuclide impurity composition of
89
SrCl
2
solution includes elements with
nuclear masses
137
,
140
and
141
, which have gaseous elements in their decay lines;
filtration of the gas flow with mechanical aerosol filters reduces the content of
radionuclide impurities 10
2
-10
3
times;
cleaning of
89
Sr chloride solution in chromatographic columns with DOWEX-508 or
Sr-Resin ensures full removal of
137
Cs from the solution and significant reduction of
140
Ba/
140
La impurity;

90
Sr impurity in
89
SrCl
2
solution was not detected with the measuring instruments
within the sensitivity limits of (510
-4
%).
5. Conclusions
The key problem of modern medical radionuclide production in research nuclear reactors -
considerable amount of a highly active waste and use in technology of highly-enriched
uranium - can be solved by transition to use of homogeneous liquid nuclear fuel enriched by
isotope of uranium
235
U less than 20 %. It is known (Basmanov, E. et al., 1998), that
conversion traditional target technology of fragment radioisotopes production from HEU
to LEU in a target cycle not only does not solve a problem of a radioactive waste (the yield

Radioactive Waste

160
of fission products per unit
99
Mo activity is the same), but also aggravates it: the amount of
the irradiated uranium, the radioactive waste accompanying processing of more uranium
for the same
99
Mo yield, both accumulation of
239
Pu and other transuranic elements increase
in times. That increases the product cost and difficulty of disposal. A target turnover cycle of
fission materials is absent in the proposed concept of medical isotopes production.
Therefore, on the one hand, the overwhelming part of the waste connected with fission of
uranium appears "locked" in a reactor core or a loop installation, and, on the other hand,
there is no problem of fission materials proliferation in a target cycle. The question of
conversion of the considered reactors with liquid fuel from HEU to LEU does not concern
actually technology of medical isotopes production, and should be considered within the
general strategy of nuclear reactors safety. Technical possibility of such conversion does not
call doubts.
The accumulated operational experience with solution and molten salt fuel, presence of the
developed experimental base provide a possibility for performing a broad spectrum of
technological researches directed on creation and realization of new methods for production
of radionuclides and radiopharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine.
Carried out in the NRC Kurchatov Institute model experiments at the solution reactor
Argus have confirmed basic provisions of the new law-waste technologies of
99
and
89
Sr production.
This newest technology of the most important medical radionuclide production allows to
lower necessary power of a reactor 100 and more times comparing to traditional technology
that not only leads to decrease in total radioactive wastes of production, but also supposes
placing the reactor in the occupied areas and promotes solving the licensing problems. The
efficiency of
235
U use comes practically to 100 % while traditional target technologies use
only 0.4 % of
235
U for reception of the final product, and other part of uranium after target
processing, as a rule, goes to utilization.
6. References
Abalin, S. et al. (2000). Method of strontium-89 radionuclide reception. Patent of Russian
Federation # 2155399, 2000
Abalin, S. et al. (2002). Method of Strontium-89 Radioisotope Production. US Patent
6,456,680. September 24, 2002.
Afanasev, N., Benevolenskij, A., Ventsel, O. et al. (1986). Reactor Argus for laboratories of
nuclear-physical methods of the analysis and the control, Atomic energy (Russian),
1986, v. 61, iss. 1, pp. 7-9.
Ball, R. (1999). IAEA-TECDOC-1065, IAEA, Vienna, 1999, pp.5-17.
Ball, R., Nordyke, H. & Brown, R. (2002). Considerations in the Design of a High Power
Medical Isotope Production Reactor, Abstracts at the 24
th
International Meeting
RERTR, Argentina on November 3-8, 2002.
Basmanov, E. et al. (1998). Management of radioactive waste from
99
Mo production. IAEA-
TECDOC-1051, Vienna, November 1998, p. 39.
Bettis, E., Schroeder, R., A.Cristy G. et al. (1957). The Aircraft Reactor Experiment. Design
and Construction. Nucl. Sci. Engng. 1957, v.2, N 6, pp. 804-826.
Low-Waste and Proliferation-Free Production
of Medical Radioisotopes in Solution and Molten-Salt Reactors

161
Burrows, T. (1993). Nuclear Data Sheets Update for A = 95. Nuclear Data Sheet, 68, 1993.
Chuvilin, D. & Zagryadskiy V. (1997). The low radioactive waste method of a fragment Mo-
99 production. Proc. of the Third European Workshop on Chemistry, Energy and the
Environment, Estoril, Portugal, 25-28 May 1997, pp. 381-388.
Chuvilin, D. & Zagryadsky, V. (1998). Method of reception of isotope
99
Mo. Patent of Russian
Federation #2102807. 1998
Gerasimov, A., Kiselev, G. & Lantcov M. (1989). Reception of
99
Mo in nuclear reactors.
Atomic Energy (Russian), v.67, iss. 2, 1989, pp. 104-108 (in Russian).
Grimes, W. (1970). Molten-salt reactor chemistry. Nucl. Appl. Technol. 1970, v.8, N 2, pp. 137-
155.
Hansell, C. (2008). Nuclear medicine's double hazard. Imperiled Treatment and the Risk of
Terrorism. Nonproliferation Review, v.15, No. 2, July 2008.
Haubenreich, P. & Engel, J. (1970). Experience with the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment.
Nucl.Appl. Technol. 1970, v.8, N 2, pp.107-140.
IAEA (1999). Production Technologies for Molybdenum-99 and Technetium-99m, IAEA-
TECDOC-1065, 1999.
Kirslis, S. & Blankenship, F. (1967). Report ORNL-4076, March 1967, p. 51.
Kirslis, S. & Blankenship, F. (1969). Report ORNL-4344, February 1969, p. 119.
Koonen, E. (1999). The BR2 Reactor, a Major European Radioisotope Producer. Int. Conf.
GLOBAL'99 Nuclear Technology - Bridging the Millennia, August 29 - September 3,
1999.
Kolesov, V. (1999). Aperiodic pulse reactors. Sarov, RFNC VNIIEF, 1999 (in Russian).
Loboda, S. et al. (1989). Exit of fission products from a fuel of solution reactor. Atomic energy
(Russian), v. 67, iss. 6, December 1989, pp. 432-433 (in Russian).
Menshikov, L. & Chuvilin, D. (2008). Preprint IAE-6526/12, (2008) (in Russian).
Nesmeyanov, A. (1978). Radiochemistry. ., Chemistry, 1978 (in Russian).
Nikolsky, B. (Ed(s).). (1998). Directory of the chemist. Vol. 1. Ed. Chemistry, Leningrad branch,
1971, (in Russian).
Novikov, V. et al. (1990). Molten salt NEU: prospects and problems. M., Energoatomizdat,
1990 (in Russian).
Pavshouk, V. & Chuvilin, D. (2005). Reception of radionuclides fission fragments of
nuclear fuel. In: Book of Isotopes. V. 1. Properties. Reception. Application. ,
Phyzmatlit, 2005, p. 524 (in Russian).
Rabotnov, N. (1999). Radiation pharmacology - revolution in public health services. Nuclear
society 2-3, (September 1999) pp. 35-38 (in Russian).
Rosenthal, M., Briggs, R. & Kasten, P. (1968). Report ORNL-4254, August 1968, pp.101-
107.
Rosenthal, M., Briggs, R. & Kasten, P. (1969). Report ORNL-4344, February 1969,
p.136.
Starkov, O. (1996). Production of radioisotopes for medicine and scientific researches. SSC-
RF PhEI:50 Obninsk, 1996, pp. 359-363 (in Russian).
Westmacott, C. (2010). The Supply of Medical Radioisotopes. An Economic Study of the
Molybden-99 Supply Chain, OECD, 2010, NEA No6967
Zagryadsky, V., Menshikov, L. & Chuvilin, D. (2008) Preprint IAE-6518/4, 2008 (in
Russian).

Radioactive Waste

162
Zvonarev , A. et al. (1997). Reception of
89
Sr in fast reactors. Atomic Energy (Russian), v.82,
iss.5, May 1997, pp. 396-399 (in Russian).
8
Substantial Reduction of
High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in
Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets
Michio Yamawaki
1
, Kenji Konashi
2
, Koji Fujimura
1,3
and Toshikazu Takeda
1


1
Research Institute of Nuclear Engineering, University of Fukui
2
Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University
3
Hitachi Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ltd.,
Japan
1. Introduction
The problem of managing high-level long-lived radioactive wastes is one of the difficult
issues associated with fission reactors. Long-term radiotoxicity is dominated primarily by
minor actinides (MAs: Np, Am, Cm) and long-lived fission products (FPs:
99
Tc,
129
I, and so
on). The potential radiotoxicity of an isotope is defined as the ratio of its radiotoxicity to the
annual limit on intake (ALI) by ingestion. Calculations have shown that the potential
radiotoxicity level of the waste would be reduced to that of natural uranium ore after 1,000
years provided that the MAs and long-lived FPs are removed from the waste and
transmuted in reactors (Kondo & Takizuka, 1994). Extensive core design studies have been
performed to assess the fast reactor (FR) capability for transmuting the MAs (Wakabayahi et
al., 1995), (Kawashima et al., 1995). It was pointed out that while the MAs are to be charged
to the core in FRs and an annual transmutation rate of more than 10% is possible, significant
problems would be encountered in the core safety characteristics, such as the sodium void
reactivity and the Doppler coefficient. Many concepts for transmutation of the MAs have
been proposed using light water reactors (LWRs) (Takano et al., 1990), (Masumi et al., 1995)
as well as FRs. In LWRs, the neutron fluxes are lower than those in FRs, but neutron spectra
are so softer that the neutron cross sections of the MAs are larger. Thus, LWRs provide
similar MA transmutation performance to FRs according to core analysis. However, more of
the higher actinides are produced by MA recycling and the reactivity penalty for MA
loading is larger than that in FRs.
A study on burning long-lived actinides, especially Am, was done in FRs using moderated
targets in the periphery of the core or in the core region (Rome et al., 1996). The target
consisted of AmO
2
surrounded by ZrH
2
or CaH
2
or mixtures thereof. On the other hand,
uranium zirconium hydride (U-Zr-H) fuel has been used in TRIGA (Training Research
Isotopes and General Atomics) research reactors for about forty years (Simnad, 1981) and
the hydrogen absorption properties of U-Th-Zr and U-Th-Ti-Zr fuels have been examined

Radioactive Waste

164
for their possible development as a new U-Th mixed hydride fuel (Yamamoto et al., 1995),
(Yamawaki et al., 1998). The hydride fuel has several advantages such as high hydrogen
atom concentration as well as inherent safety, low release of fission products, and high
thermal conductivity.
In this chapter, we propose effective MA transmutation core concepts using an FR.
Moderated regions containing Np and Am are constructed in a driver core region because
Np and Am will be effectively transmuted into other actinides of shorter half-lives or
effective Pu fuels in the high neutron flux with soft spectra. The MA-containing hydride fuel
(U-MAs-Zr-H) is loaded in the target assembly of the moderated region, from the
viewpoints of high hydrogen and MA concentration and MAs-H homogeneity, which mean
good transmutation characteristics. The resulting Cm is partitioned and stored to decay for
over 100 years, and the resulting Pu is recovered and recycled in the driver core region.
Systematic parameter survey has been carried out to investigate the fundamental
characteristics of MA transmutation and the core safety parameters such as sodium void
reactivity in a 1,000 MWe-class fast reactor core.
In the second part of this chapter, the amount of MAs loaded in the MA burning core was
increased by loading MA targets even in the radial blanket region, which increased the
transmutation amount of the MA. And transmutation rate and incineration rate of MA in
the MA once-through core were increased by being lengthened the irradiation period of MA
targets. Based on the enhanced MA transmutation characteristics, a scenario for introducing
the concept was investigated.
In the third part of this chapter, feasibility of the actinide hydride containing Np and Am as
a transmutation target fuel to reduce the amount of long-lived actinides in the high level
nuclear waste was studied by employing UTh
4
Zr
10
H
x
as a simulated actinide hydride fuel
where Th is a surrogate for minor actinides. Irradiation tests of the simulated actinide
hydride fuel target have been carried out in Japan Material Testing Reactor (JMTR) of Japan
atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). After irradiations, both non-destructive and destructive
examinations were carried out for each test. The integrity of the hydride fuel pellet was
confirmed through irradiation, supporting the feasibility of the concept of hydride fuel
targets.
2. Fast reactor core concepts for MA transmutation using hydride fuel targets
2.1 Actinide-hydride target and its features
Special target assembly, which contains actinide-hydrides, is considered to achieve high
transmutation rate in fast reactor. The actinide-hydride target assemblies are loaded in core
region of fast reactor containing mixed oxide fuels. Fast neutrons generated in the core fuel
region are moderated in the actinide-hydride target assemblies and then produce high flux
of thermal neutrons, which have large cross section of nuclear reaction with actinides. The
target contains
237
Np,
241
Am and
243
Am with ratio of 77.4, 5.0 and 17.6, which corresponds to
that for LWR UO
2
fuel irradiated with burnup of 45GWd/t. The Cm was excluded to be
stored for over 100 years.
The U-(Np, Am)-Zr hydride composition has the atomic ratio of U:(Np, Am):Zr:H=1:4:10:27,
which was determined based on the experimental study on the U-Th-Zr-H system
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

165
(Yamawaki et al., 1998). The Use of actinide-hydride target enables to increase amount of
actinides loaded in the target assemblies. Fig.1 compares loading amount of actinides in the
case of the actinide-hydride target with that in the case of mixed actinide oxide pins and
ZrH
1.6
pins. The latter loading arrangement was discussed in previous report. In the
condition of same densities of hydrogen atoms, the amount of loaded actinides by the
former method is about six times larger than that in the latter method.
The actinide-hydride has very high hydrogen atom density, which is equivalent to that of
liquid water. The moderation of fast neutrons in the actinide-hydride target has been
simulated by the Monte Carlo code, MCNP (Briesmeister, 1993) with the JENDL-3.2 library.
The calculations have been done for a slab of actinide-hydride with the length of 2m side
and 20cm thick (Konashi et al., 2001). The source neutron with fission energy spectrum is
incident at a point in center of a face of the actinide-hydride slab. The neutron spectra were
averaged over the volume of each small cell (20cm side and 1cm thick), which is placed at
the center of the slab. Fig.2 shows the results of the Monte Carlo code calculations. Incident
fast neutrons are adequately moderated within 5cm depth of actinide-hydride target. Total
flux decrease with increase of distance from the target surface, since the thermalized
neutrons are effectively captured by actinide nuclides. The Monte Carlo calculation results
show that the actinide-hydride target is an excellent integral target-modulator system.
(a) Hydride target (Np+Am=29kg) (b) Oxide target and ZrH1.6(Np+Am=5kg)

ZrH1.6 (Np,Am)O2 U/MA/Zr/H=1/4/10/27
Pitch=16cm

Fig. 1. Comparison of loading amount of actinides using hydride targets with that using
oxide targets and ZrH
1.6
moderators (Konashi et al., 2001)

10
-9
10
-8
10
-7
10
-6
10
-5
10
-4
10
-3
10
-2
10
-1
10
0
10
1
-5
0
5
10
15
20
10
-5
10
-4
10
-3
10
-2
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
Neutron energy (MeV)
D
i
s
t
a
n
c
e
f
r
o
m
t
a
r
g
e
t s
u
r
f
a
c
e
(
c
m
)
N
e
u
t
r
o
n

i
n
t
e
n
s
i
t
y

(
n
/
c
m
2
/
M
e
V
/
s
o
u
r
c
e

n
)
Source neutron
T
a
r
g
e
t
10
-9
10
-8
10
-7
10
-6
10
-5
10
-4
10
-3
10
-2
10
-1
10
0
10
1
-5
0
5
10
15
20
10
-5
10
-4
10
-3
10
-2
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
Neutron energy (MeV)
D
i
s
t
a
n
c
e
f
r
o
m
t
a
r
g
e
t s
u
r
f
a
c
e
(
c
m
)
N
e
u
t
r
o
n

i
n
t
e
n
s
i
t
y

(
n
/
c
m
2
/
M
e
V
/
s
o
u
r
c
e

n
)
Source neutron
T
a
r
g
e
t

Fig. 2. Neutron energy distributions simulated by MCNP for each cell of target (Konashi et
al., 2001)

Radioactive Waste

166
2.2 Calculation conditions
Systematic survey calculations were implemented to investigate the basic characteristics of
MA transmutation based on a 1000 MWe-class fast reactor core with mixed oxide fuel using
hydride fuel targets. The design parameters are shown in Table 1. The core layout with 36
target assemblies is shown in Fig.3.
Core analyses were performed with the SRAC (Tsuchihashi et al., 1986) and CITATION
codes using the JENDL-3.2 library. The 107-group effective microscopic cross sections in the
target assembly, inner core, outer core, and blanket regions were calculated using the SRAC
code. The effective cross section of the target assembly was calculated with a super cell
model, which is a one-dimensional cylinder model consisting of the homogeneous target
assembly surrounded by the inner core region. The effective cross sections of the other
regions were calculated with the homogeneous cell model. Burnup calculations were made
with the two-dimensional RZ model using the CITATION code with the 107-group
microscopic cross sections. The burnup period was divided into some steps of about 180
days. The actinide transmutation chain was considered up to
245
Cm as shown in Fig.4. The
MA transmutation characteristics such as the transmutation rate in the driver core were
calculated with this model. Those in the central target assembly were calculated with this
model and those in the off-center target assembly were evaluated by the following
procedure. The RZ model is suitable for calculation of the MA transmutation characteristics
for the central target assembly, but not the off-center target assembly. So, transmutation
characteristics of the off-center target assembly were estimated based on those of the central
target assembly by using the relative total neutron fluences, because the transmutation
characteristics of the target are almost proportional to the total neutron fluences in the
target. The total neutron fluences were calculated in the clean core without the target
assembly at the corresponding positions of the center and off-center target assemblies.
Strictly, these estimations need 3-dimensional calculations because the radial flux
distribution varies with the irradiation. However, the total transmutation rate of all target
assemblies could be estimated to a certain extent in the model described above, because the
target assemblies are loaded throughout the driver core.


Item spec.
Reactor electric power 1,000 MW
Reactor thermal power 2,600MW
Cycle length 1year (3 batch refueling)
Core concept 2 region-homogeneous
Core fuel element PuO
2
+UO
2

Blanket fuel element Depleted-UO
2

Coolant material Sodium
Core diameter/Height 3.00/1.00m
Pu enrichment (IC/OC) 15.8/20.2wt%
Table 1. Main design parameters of 1,000 MWe fast reactors
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

167


Fig. 3. Core layout of 1,000 MWe fast reactor with 36 target assemblies (Sanda et al., 2000)


Fig. 4. Actinide transmutation chain employed in this chapter

Radioactive Waste

168
In this chapter, both the MA transmutation and MA incineration were estimated. The MA
transmutation is defined as the initial MAs minus the residual MAs, and the MA
incineration as the incineration by fission of MAs and their daughter nuclides during the
irradiation (Takeda & Yokoyama, 1997). So, transmuted MAs include incinerated MAs and
the resulting Pu. The reactivity coefficients were directly calculated from the difference in
multiplication factors between the reference and perturbed cores at BOC (Beginning of
cycle) with the two-dimensional RZ model using the CITATION code. The target assemblies
were modeled by some rings according to the number of target assemblies. Doppler
coefficients in the core, blanket, and target assembly regions, and the sodium void reactivity
in the core and target assembly regions were calculated.
The composition U/MAs/Zr/H in the hydride fuel was assumed to be 1/4/10/27 based on
earlier study results (Yamamoto et al., 1995) for the case of the highest hydrogen and MA
concentration, and the compositions were changed in order to evaluate the effect on MA
transmutation characteristics. The density of U-MAs-Zr-H fuel was set at 7.15 g/cm
3
based
on the preliminary measured data of U-Th-Zr-H fuel with the composition of 1/4/10/27.
The amount of loaded MAs for the target assembly in this case could be about 7.6 times
larger than that in the mixed MAO
2
and ZrH
1.6
target studied previously with the same
numbers of hydrogen atoms. The hydride fuel target assemblies containing Np and Am
were loaded in the core region. Cm was excluded, being instead stored to decay for over
100 years. The isotopic content
237
Np/
241
Am/
243
Am of the MAs in the target used for the
reference analysis was 77.4/5.0/17.6. These values were based on the content without the
cooling for the discharged LWR UO
2
fuel of about 45 GWd/t burnup, in which the Cm was
assumed to be partitioned in the reprocessing process. The effect of the isotopic content of
the discharged fuel with some cooling time on the transmutation was studied later.
2.3 Nuclear performance and core concepts
2.3.1 Parameter survey
(a) MA transmutation
To evaluate the fundamental MA transmutation characteristics, one MA hydride fuel target
assembly was loaded in the center of the1000 MWe-class FR core described above. Figure 5
shows the dependency of MA transmutation rate on hydrogen density in the hydride fuel
target assembly loaded with 29.1kg of MAs. In this figure, 100 % hydrogen density fuel
means U-MAs-Zr-H fuel with the composition of 1/4/10/27. The target assembly was
irradiated in the core center for 3 years. The MA transmutation rate of U-MAs-Zr-H fuel is
about two times larger than that of U-MAs-Zr fuel without hydrogen. Figure 6 compares the
averaged neutron energy spectra in the inner core region and hydride fuel target assembly.
Higher fluxes in the thermal and epithermal spectra are obtained in the target assembly,
where the MA transmutation is better mainly because some MAs have the large resonance
of fission cross sections in the epithermal energy region. Figure 7 shows the neutron flux
radial distributions at typical energies near the target assembly loaded in the core center at
BOC. Thermal and epithermal fluxes increase rapidly near the target assembly and have a
flat distribution in the target assembly. The heavy nuclei composition and the transmutation
characteristics in the target assembly with and without hydrogen loaded in the core center
are listed in Table 2, where the transmutation rate means the transmuted MAs divided by
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

169
the initial MAs. Since Cm remaining in a MA-burning target is assumed to be partitioned
and stored for decay for over 100 years, and the resulting Pu and the remaining Cm (mainly
fissile
245
Cm) can be recovered and recycled in the driver core, Cm is excluded from the
residual MAs in this table. The MA incineration rate is given in this table, which means the
incinerated MAs by fission divided by the initial MAs. The ratio of the incineration rate to
the transmutation rate as well as transmutation and incineration rates increase with the
irradiation period (the operation cycle). As the ratio increases, the contribution of the MA
incineration increases in the transmutation. The ratio in the hydride fuel is 0.51 for the 3-
year irradiation. This is much larger than that (0.32) of the metal fuel without hydrogen, but
the MLHGR (Maximum Linear Heat Generation Rate) is too large for the hydride fuel after
the 3-year irradiation. In this study, the MLHGR limit of the hydride fuel target was
assumed to be 500W/cm based on the metal fuel core design (Yokoo et al., 1995) in a
sodium cooled FR. The MLHGR of the target in the middle of the second operation cycle
exceeds the limit as shown in Table 2. This is due to the increase of fissile isotopes (
239
Pu,
241
Pu,
242m
Am,
245
Cm) produced by neutron capture reactions of MAs during the irradiation
and the large fission cross sections of these isotopes in the epithermal energy regions. Fast
neutron fluence (0.1MeV) in the target is about 40% smaller than that in the driver core
even after the 3-year irradiation, so cladding materials have significant design margins for
neutron irradiation in the target. In the core design using the target, it is desirable that the
MLHGR of the target be as large as possible within the limit for the higher MA
transmutation, because higher neutron fluence will be obtained in the target. So, we studied
shuffling of these target assemblies in each cycle and/or adjusting the composition of the
MAs and hydrogen in the targets. The results are discussed in Section 2.3.2.
Next, the amount of MAs loaded in the target fuel was decreased by changing the
MAs/Zr/H composition to study increase of the incineration rate, where U-free fuels were
applied so as not to produce new MAs. By using these fuels, neutron fission reactions will
increase because a large epithermal neutron flux is obtained in the target due to the little
neutron flux depression at BOC . Table 3 shows MA transmutation and incineration rates,
and the MLHGR for 3-year irradiation for various targets loaded in the core center. The
density of MAs-Zr-H fuel was set at 7.15 g/cm
3
for all cases. The MA incineration rate
reaches over 90% for many cases. A core concept for the once-through option using these
targets is discussed in Section 2.3.2.
The isotopic content of the MAs in the target was based on the content for the discharged
LWR fuel without the cooling for the reference analysis. In order to get the effect of the
isotopic content, transmutation characteristics were estimated for the central target assembly
with different isotopic contents. The contents
237
Np/
241
Am/
243
Am were set at 59.6/28.2/12.2
and 41.9/49.6/8.5 for the discharged LWR fuel with 3-year and 10-year cooling times,
respectively (At. Energy Soc. Jpn. Ed., 1994). As the cooling time increases,
237
Np decreases
and
241
Am increases. Table 4 shows the MA transmutation and incineration rates of U-MAs-
Zr-H fuel with the compositions of 1/4/10/27 and 1/4/10/0 for different isotopic contents
of the MAs. This table shows the effect of isotopic contents is small for the transmutation
rates, though the transmutation rates decreases a little with the cooling time. Also, the MA
incineration rates increase remarkably as the cooling time increases. This is due to the fact
that the fission cross section of
242m
Am transmuted by
241
Am is much larger than that of
237
Np in the epithermal energy region.

Radioactive Waste

170


Fig. 5. Dependency of MA (Np+Am) transmutation rate on hydrogen density in a hydride
fuel target assembly loaded in core center (Sanda et al., 2000)




Fig. 6. Comparison of neutron energy spectra between inner core and hydride fuel target
assembly (Sanda et al., 2000)
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

171


Fig. 7. Neutron flux radial distribution at typical energies near the target assembly loaded in
core center
(Sanda et al., 2000)

Table 2. Heavy nuclei mass and MA transmutation characteristics for two types of targets
with and without hydrogen (U/MAs/Zr/H=1/4/10/27 or 0) loaded in core (Sanda et al.,
2000)
These results show the incineration rates of the targets in the reference analysis are
conservative when the isotopic content of the MAs in the target was based on the content for
the discharged LWR fuel without cooling.

Radioactive Waste

172

Table 3. Comparison of MA transmutation characteristics for various targets loaded in core
center for 3-year irradiation (Sanda et al., 2000)


Table 4. MA transmutation and incineration rates for two types of targets
(U/MAs/Zr/H=1/4/10/27 or 0) with different isotopic contents loaded in core center
(Sanda et al., 2000)
(b) Reactivity coefficient
As the MA enrichment increases in an FR, the neutron energy spectrum gets harder and the
fast fission rate increases. Therefore, safety characteristics deteriorate; i.e. the value of the
sodium void reactivity becomes more positive and the absolute value of the Doppler
coefficient decreases. For our core concepts, the spectrum gets softer due to the hydride fuel
targets and safety characteristics are improved. Figures 8 and 9 show the relations between
reactivity coefficients and the number of target assemblies composed of U/MAs/Zr/H fuel
with a composition of 1/4/10/27. In the figures, the corresponding reactivity coefficients
are described for an FR core loaded with the same amount of MAs homogeneously. For a
reference core without MAs, sodium void reactivity is 5.0 $ in the core region, and Doppler
coefficient is -1.010
-2
Tdk/dT in the core and blanket regions. In the proposed cores, the
positive sodium void coefficient decreases with the number of target assemblies. In contrast,
the negative Doppler coefficient shows little dependency on the number of target assemblies
and the relative value slightly increases with the number. This little dependency is due to
compensation from the positive effect of spectrum softening and the negative effect of
higher Pu enrichment in the driver core by loading the target assemblies, because higher Pu
enrichment means less
238
U, the main contributor of Doppler coefficient. However, these
figures show safety characteristics can be improved by loading MA hydride targets,
compared with an FR core loaded with MAs homogeneously.
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

173

Fig. 8. Relation between sodium void reactivity target assemblies (Sanda et al., 2000)


Fig. 9. Relation between Doppler coefficient and number of and number of target assemblies
(Sanda et al., 2000)
(c) Thermal power peaking for fuel assembly adjacent to target assembly
Thermal power peaking is generated in the fuel assemblies adjacent to the target assembly
by epithermal neutrons coming from the target. When the amount of MAs loaded is small in
a target, the thermal power peaking causes a problem which must be considered in the
core design as neutron flux depression is small in the target assembly due to fewer MA
neutron capture reactions. In order to decrease the thermal peak, we studied an assembly
composed of hydride fuels surrounded by
99
Tc, which is one of the long-lived FPs and
makes a large contribution to long-term radiotoxicity. Figure 10 shows the radial power
distribution near the target with and without
99
Tc after the 3-year irradiation in the case of
target assembly composed of MAs/Zr/H fuel with the composition of 0.7/10/15. The
density of this fuel was set at 6.0 g/cm
3
based on TRIGA type fuel data of U-Zr-H fuel with
the composition of 0.7/10/27 (Simnad, 1981). The density of
99
Tc was set at the theoretical
density of 11.5 g/cm
3
. While the big thermal peak in the adjacent fuel assemblies is
generated for the target assembly without
99
Tc rods, the MLHGR of the adjacent fuel
assemblies comes within the limit by replacing two layers of hydride fuel rods with
99
Tc
rods as shown in Fig. 10. The MLHGR decreases with the incineration rate of MAs for the
target assembly. This is due to decreasing the amount of the fissile nuclei by fission after the
3-year irradiation with a larger fission incineration rate. Figure 11 shows the radial power
distribution near the target with 2 layers of
99
Tc rods for different irradiation periods. In the
target assembly, the LHGR (Linear Heat Generation Rate) increases in the central region up

Radioactive Waste

174
to the 2-year irradiation. This is due to the increase of fissile nuclei such as
239
Pu,
241
Pu,
242m
Am, and
245
Cm, which are produced by neutron capture reactions of MAs with
irradiation and have very large fission cross sections in the thermal and epithermal energy
region. After the 2-year irradiation the LHGR decreases in the target assembly. This is due to
the decrease of the fissile nuclei by the fission reaction. The transmutation and incineration
rates in the discharged target decrease to 98.4 % and 82.4 % from 99.4 % and 92.6 %,
respectively, by using 2 layers of
99
Tc rods. These target assemblies can be applied to the
core concept for the MA once-through option due to the high incineration rate described
below.

Fig. 10. Radial power distribution near target fuel assembly with and without
99
Tc rods after
the 3-year irradiation (Sanda et al., 2000)


Fig. 11. Radial power distribution near target fuel assembly with 2 layers of
99
Tc rods for
different irradiation periods (Sanda et al., 2000)
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

175
2.3.2 Proposed core concepts
We proposed two core concepts using MA-containing hydride fuel targets based on the
survey results described above. One is for the MA burner option with Pu multi-recycling to
transmute a larger amount of MAs, and the other is for the MA once-through option. The
merit of the MA once-through option is that it can avoid some problems such as spent
targets transporting and reprocessing, and new targets fabrication.
(a) MA burner option with Pu multi-recycling
An MA burner core was studied using target assemblies composed of U/MAs/Zr/H fuel
with the composition of 1/4/10/27 without Tc. The core layout was shown in Fig.3, in
which 36 target assemblies were loaded on 4 rings. The MA transmutation and the MLHGR
of the targets were evaluated for two cases. The target assemblies were discharged after one
and two cycle irradiations for the first and second cases, respectively. The MLHGR is much
smaller than the limit for the first case, and nearly reaches the limit for the second. More of
the MAs in the target assemblies on the inner ring are transmuted than those on the outer
ring. The target assemblies were shuffled every irradiation cycle for the second case; the
assemblies on the first and second rings were moved to the fourth ring at the beginning of
the second cycle to obtain similar MA transmutation every irradiation cycle. This
contributes to flattening the radial power distribution for each cycle. Table 5 shows heavy
nuclei mass and MA transmutation of target assemblies for the proposed burner core
concept. The transmutation and incineration rates are 30.6 and 3.7% in the discharged target
for the first case, and 57.3 and 14.1% for the second case. For this core concept, the MAs
produced in about 14 and13 LWRs can be transmuted every year in the target, respectively,
for the first and second cases. Table 6 compares MA transmutation and reactivity
coefficients in various core concepts. The MA transmutation and safety characteristics of the
proposed cores are improved in comparison with conventional FR cores loaded the same
amount of MAs.
Figure 12 shows a fuel cycle including the proposed MA burner and the heavy nuclei flow.
In the MA burner core, Np and Am of the hydride fuel target are provided from
reprocessing of the spent fuel of LWRs (FRs in future) and the MA burner core, and the
discharged target. The reprocessed Pu is recovered and recycled in the driver core. As an
option, long-lived FPs such as
129
I and
99
Tc are partitioned and mixed with a hydride such as
ZrH
1.6
. These are loaded in the radial blanket region in order to be transmuted into stable
nuclides. When the radial blanket assemblies adjacent to the driver core region were
replaced by
99
Tc target assemblies composed of
99
Tc and zirconium hydride pins with the
same volume ratio, the annual transmutation mass is about 75kg /y (0.9%/y) which is
equivalent to the amount produced by about 2 LWRs and a self-generated one.
(b) MA once-through option
An MA incineration core for the MA once-through option was studied using target
assemblies composed of MAs/Zr/H fuel with a composition of 0.7/10/15 surrounded by
two layers of
99
Tc as shown in Fig.10. The core layout is shown in Fig.3, and was the same as
in the MA burner option. These target assemblies were shuffled every irradiation cycle and
discharged after a 3-cycle irradiation within the limit of MLHGR. During shuffling the target
assemblies on the inner ring were moved to the outer ring at each cycle to obtain a similar

Radioactive Waste

176
MA transmutation for each target. Table 5 also includes heavy nuclei mass and MA
transmutation characteristics of target assemblies for this proposed core concept. The
transmutation rate and incineration rate are 93.0% and 63.9% in the discharged targets,
respectively. For this core concept, the MAs produced in about 2 LWRs can be incinerated
every year in the targets. For
99
Tc pins in the target assemblies, the annual transmutation
mass is about 60kg /y (4.1%/y) which is equivalent to the amount produced by about one
LWR and a self-generated one.
Similar core concepts are realized using the mixed MA and ZrH
1.6
target assemblies, but the
MA transmutation characteristics would be inferior to those for the hydride fuels due to
lower hydrogen atom concentration in the assembly as described in sec. 2.2, especially in the
MA burner option.

Table 5. Heavy nuclei mass and MA transmutation characteristics of targets for burner and
incineration core concepts (Sanda et al., 2000)


Table 6. Comparison of MA transmutation characteristics and reactivity coefficient (Sanda et
al., 2000)
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

177
2.4 Summary for section 2
Fast reactor core concepts were studied to reduce the long-term radiotoxicity of nuclear
waste by using minor actinides (MAs) in the form of hydride fuel targets. The hydride fuel
target assemblies containing Np and Am were loaded in the core region, and the Cm was
partitioned and stored to decay for over 100 years. A systematic parameter survey was
carried out to investigate the fundamental characteristics of MA transmutation and
reactivity coefficients in a 1,000 MWe-class FR core. Results showed safety characteristics
could be improved by loading MA hydride targets, as compared with the FR core loaded
with MAs homogeneously. Two core concepts were proposed using 36 target assemblies.
One was the MA burner core to transmute a larger amount of MAs by neutron capture and
fission combined with Pu multi-recycling in FRs, where the MAs produced in about 13
LWRs could be transmuted every year with 58% transmutation rate ( 14% incineration rate)
in discharged targets. The other was the MA once-through core to incinerate a small amount
of MAs by fission, the MAs produced in about 2 LWRs could be incinerated every year with
about 64% fission incineration rate (93% transmutation rate) in discharged targets. This
study showed that the proposed core concepts using MA-containing hydride fuel targets
have great potential to achieve good transmutation of MAs while providing the improved
safety characteristics of an FR core.
MA transmutation characteristics using hydride fuel targets was studied from the viewpoint
of reactor physics. However, future attention should be given to the following.
i. Hydrogen is dissociated from hydride fuels at higher temperatures. When the fuel
temperature rises under the transients, positive reactivity would be inserted by hydrogen
dissociation in an FR. We estimated its effect roughly. The hydrogen dissociation
pressures are about 0.1 and 16 atm at 700 and 1,000 deg. for U-ZrH
1.6
fuel, respectively
Simnad, 1981. As a result, the hydrogen composition decreases from 1.6 to 1.5969 (0.2 %
decrease) at 1,000 deg. under the assumption that the volume and temperature of the fuel
are the same as those of the gas plenum in a fuel pin. And, the 0.2 % hydrogen decrease
corresponds to about an inserted reactivity of 2 for the proposed core with 36 target
assemblies composed of U/MAs/Zr/H fuel with a composition of 1/4/10/27. So, the
hydrogen dissociation effect under the transients is expected to be little.
ii. Hydrogen penetration increases in the stainless steel cladding material of the fuel pin at
higher temperatures. Countermeasures, such as increasing the coolant flow rate for
target assemblies so as to decrease the cladding temperatures and internal coating of
the cladding material would be effective. Silicon carbide has a very good hydrogen
retention capability. It is being used very successfully in HTGR (High Temperature
Gas-cooled Reactor) fuel as the cladding against hydrogen (tritium) penetration even up
to temperatures exceeding 1,000 deg. (Greenspan, 1997).
iii. It is necessary to develop new MA burning target materials, which are stable under
high temperatures and irradiation conditions. The U-ZrH
1.6
fuel for the TRIGA reactor
was reported by General Atomics to be stable at steady-state temperatures up to 700
deg. Under transient conditions the U-ZrH
1.6
fuel can withstand temperatures at high as
1,000 deg. (Simnad, 1980). The U-Th-Zr-H fuels have been fabricated and examined for
thermal and mechanical properties through a preliminary irradiation examination
(Yamawaki et al., 1998). These experiences are expected to contribute to development of
Np and Am hydride fuels.

Radioactive Waste

178

Fig. 12. Fuel cycle including the proposed MA burner core and heavy nuclei flow (Sanda et
al., 2000)
3. Enhancement of transmutation characteristics of the MA transmutation
fast reactor core concept using hydride fuel targets and its introduction
scenario
3.1 Enhancement of transmutation characteristics
Two types of core concepts for the MA burning FR core using hydride fuel targets were
proposed in Sec. 2. One is for an MA burner option to transmute a larger amount of MAs by
neutron capture and fission combined with Pu multi-recycling in FRs. The other is for an
MA once-through option to completely incinerate a smaller amount of MAs by fission.
These concepts have great potential to achieve good transmutation of the MAs with
improved of safety characteristics in the FR core.
In this study we try to enhance the MAs transmutation characteristics of both types of MA
burning FR core using hydride fuel targets.
3.1.1 MA burner option with Pu multi-recycling
The U/MAs/Zr/H composition in the hydride fuel is assumed to be 1/4/10/27. In this
option, a large amount of Pu is produced by the neutron capture reaction of MAs. In sec. 2,
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

179
the MLHGR limit of the hydride fuel target was assumed to be 500W/cm based on the metal
fuel core design. Therefore the target assembly loaded in the core fuel region should be
discharged after a 2-year irradiation. The MAs produced in about 13 LWRs could be
transmuted every year by loading 36 target assemblies in the 1,000MWe-class FR core. The
average transmutation rate in discharged targets was 58%. The main design parameters of
1,000 MWe-class FR were shown in Table 1.
First irradiation test with simulated actinide-hydride target has been done in JMTR. The
U/Th/Zr/H type target material was used for the irradiation test (Konashi et al., 2000),
since the hydrogen chemical potential of Th hydride is close to that of Np and Am hydrides.
The MLHGR limit was set less than 200 W/cm in order that an enough thermal margin
should be ensured to the actinide-hydride fuel. It is important to show the potential of the
actinide-hydride as the target for MA transmutation reactor within a feasible condition. For
that sake, a new loading scheme was proposed as follows.
All target assembly which are irradiated in the core fuel region within a year, are shuffled to
the first row of the radial blanket (RB) region. As 72 target assemblies can be loaded in the
first row of the RB region, 36 target assemblies can be irradiated within 2 years. As a result,
36 target assemblies will be discharged after a 3-year irradiation. Increase in number of the
target brings the decrease in number of the core fuel, which will increase MLHGR of the
core fuel within the condition shown in Table 1. Therefore, the number of target loaded in
the core fuel region was limited to 36 according to sec. 2. Figure 13 shows the dependency
on irradiation period of MA transmutation and MLHGR in a typical target assembly. In the
RB region, the MA transmutation rate becomes small because the neutron flux level is
smaller than in the core region. The average MA transmutation rate is 47%. On the other
hand, the MLHGR becomes very small, which increases the margin of hydride fuel
temperature. The total number of targets loaded in the core is 3 times more than the
previous case, which increases the MA transmutation amount. As a result, the MA
produced in about 21LWRs can be transmuted in the 1,000MWe-class FR core (Table 7).

0
20
40
60
80
100
0 1 2 3
Number of irradiation cycle
M
A

t
r
a
n
s
m
u
t
a
t
i
o
n


r
a
t
e

(
%
)
Core center
1cycle
M
L
H
G
R

i
n

T
a
r
g
e
t

(
W
/
c
m
)
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
0

Radial blanket
2 cycles
Design limit 500W/cm

Fig. 13. Burnup characteristics of hydride fuel target of MA burner with Pu multi-recycling
core (Fujimura et al., 2001)

Radioactive Waste

180
Pu loaded
Pu
produced
LWR
Without
Targets
1
MA
burner
FBR
t/y 0 1.7 2.7 2.7
Output 1 GWe
0.2 0.3 -0.3
0
MA loaded
MA
transmuted
0 0.2 1.1 0.03
-0.02 0.0 0.50 -0.03
(47%)
*2
(100%)
*3
RB 2 layers None 2 layers
Item Unit
BR 1.2 0.9
1.0
*1 MAs self-generated in core fuel are recycled to core fuel,
*2 Including transformation of nuclei, *3 Incineration rate by fission,
*4 Divided by annual MAs produced in a LWR of same electric output
*4
-1 0 21 1.3
MA once-
through
t/y
t/y
t/y
LWR/y

Table 7. Mass balance data of each type of core (Fujimura et al., 2001)
3.1.2 MA once-through option
In this option, the amount of MAs loaded in a target is small and the aim is for almost all of
the MAs to be incinerated completely, including Pu which is produced by MAs
transformation with neutron capture reaction. This option is free from reprocessing of spent
target fuel. The target assembly is composed of MAs/Zr/H fuel with a composition of
0.7/10/15 according to sec. 2. The reason for no U is to minimize production of MAs.
Hydride fuels are surrounded by two layers of
99
Tc rods to prevent thermal peaking at
adjacent fuel rods. Figure 14 shows the dependency on irradiation period of MA
transmutation rate and incineration rate in a typical target assembly. In the previous section,
all target assembly in the MA once-through core was discharged after 3-year irradiation
with core fuel assembles. Core average MA transmutation rate was 93% and incineration
rate was 64%.
In this section, we let the irradiation period of a target assembly be twice as that of the core
fuel to increase the MA transmutation rate and incineration rate. Both the MA transmutation
rate and incineration rate is almost 100% after a 6-year irradiation as shown in Fig.14. In this
option, MLHGR of a target will not be over its design limit because the inventory of MAs
and Pu produced from transformation of MAs is very small. The merit of this option is that
it avoids such problems as spent target transport, reprocessing and new target fabrication.
Figure 15 shows the two options of the MA burning FR core using hydride fuel targets
which we used to investigate an introduction scenario.
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

181

0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0
Number of irradiation cycle
M
A

t
r
a
n
s
m
u
t
a
t
i
o
n

a
n
d

i
n
c
i
n
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

r
a
t
e

(
%
)
MA transmutation rate
MA incineration rate

Fig. 14. Burnup characteristics of hydride fuel target of MA once-through core (Fujimura et
al., 2001)


C C
C C
C
C
C
C
C
C C
C
Inner core fuel
Outer core fuel
Radial blanket fuel
Radial reflector
Control rod
Hydride fuel target assembly

1/4/10/27


Option
Hydride
MA/Zr/H
0.7/10/15
U/MA/Zr/H Relatively large mass
of MAs is loaded
Feature
Small amount of MAs
completely incinerated

Tc-99 transmu-
tation rate (4%/y)
Core(1 cycle)
RB (2 cycles)
Core (6 cycles)
Target position
Hydride fuel
Tc-99 rod
MA burner with Pu
multi-recycling
MA once-through
MA
burner
MA
once-
through

Fig. 15. Two options of MA burning fast reactor core using hydride fuel targets (Fujimura et
al., 2001)

Radioactive Waste

182
3.2 Investigation of introduction scenario
By introducing two options of the MA burning FR core using hydride fuel targets in the
early stage of the fast breeder reactor period, the following scenario is feasible. The MA
burning FR core using hydride fuel targets will be replaced by a self-generated MA
transmutation FR core without the target after most of the MAs produced in the LWR are
transmuted. In the reprocessing of the spent fuel of the self-generated MA transmutation FR
core, MAs are not separated from Pu.
3.2.1 Nuclear power capacity and installation scenario of FBR
Nuclear power capacity and installation scenario of the FBR (Fast Breeder Reactor) are set
with the high projection case as the reference (Wajima et al., 1996). Nuclear power capacity
between the years 2010 and 2,100 is extrapolated based on its value of 45GWe in 2,000 and
seventy GWe in 2010 which were given in the 1994s Long-Term Program for Development
and Utilization of Nuclear Energy of Japan. Capacity growth rate between 2011 and 2050 is
fixed at 14GWe per year which is equivalent to the minimum growth rate per 10 years
between 1971 and 2010. The growth rate between 2051 and 2100 is fixed at 10 GWe/yr.
Seventy GWe in 2010 is consistent with the value shown by the Electricity Industry
Councils report for Japan given in July 1998. Above nuclear power capacity well coincides
with that supposed in the paper (Hamamoto et al., 2001) which discussed the MOX cores for
effective use of Pu in LWRs. The following installation projection of a large FBR is assumed.
Installation of the FBR plant will start in 2010 when commercial LWRs will be replaced and
installation of two commercial sized FBR plants should be completed prior to 2030. The FBR
will be commercialized after 2030. The FBR plant installation rate is assumed to be relatively
large in which the utilized amount of natural uranium ore in Japan will not be over 10 % of
the worlds ultimate resources (about 1.7 Mt). Figure 16 shows the yearly dependency of the
nuclear power capacity for high projection case in Japan.

0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
80 2000 20 40 60 80 2100
Year
N
u
c
l
e
a
r

p
o
w
e
r

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
*

(
G
W
e
)
60
LWR
FBR
Growth rate
20112050 14GWe/10yrs

20512100 10GWe/10yrs

70GWe at 2010
*
* Prediction in the latest Long-Term Program for
Development and Utilization of Nuclear Energy
of Japan (1994)
Minimum growth rate per
10 years between
1971 and 2010

*High projection case - T. Wajima et al.: Journal of Japan Nuclear Society, Vol.38, No.2, 133(1996).
Fig. 16. Yearly dependency of the nuclear power capacity in Japan (Low projection case)
(Fujimura et al., 2001)
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

183
Nuclear power capacity and installation scenario of the FBR with the low projection case
as the above reference was also set. In this scenario, capacity growth rate after 2070 will be
fixed at zero. The FBR will be installed after 2030 and commercialized at 2050. Figure 17
shows the yearly dependency of the nuclear power capacity for low projection case in
Japan.



* * Low projection case - T. Wajima, et. al.: Journal of Japan Nuclear Society, Vol.38, No.2, 133 (1996).
Fig. 17. Yearly dependency of the nuclear power capacity in Japan (High projection case)
(Fujimura et al., 2001)
3.2.2 Fuel cycle flow
Fuel cycle flow of each reactor being considered in this capter is shown in Fig. 18. All the
Pu and MAs being extracted from reprocessing of LWR spent fuel are assumed to be
utilized and transmuted by the FBR. No utilization of Pu in the LWR is assumed. In this
study, all FBRs which will be installed after the residual amount of MAs from LWR spent
fuel are transmuted, are assumed to have a self-generated MA transmutation FR core.
MAs included in the spent fuel are not separated from Pu . They are utilized as fuel and
transmuted. Concentration of the MAs in heavy metal is about 1-2 % in the equilibrium
cycle core which does not affect nuclear performance of the core so much. On the other
hand, it was shown that a 1,300MWe commercial size FBR can transmute self-generated
six long-lived FPs (
79
Se,
99
Tc,
107
Pd,
129
I,
135
Cs,
151
Sm) in the radial blanket and part of the
axial blanket (Kobayashi et al., 1997). Fuel cycle flow of the core fuel of the MA burning
FR using hydride fuel targets is the same as that of the self-generated MA transmutation
FR core. And all MAs from the LWR spent fuel are loaded in hydride fuel targets. About
half of the MAs will survive in a spent target fuel in the MA burner option core and they
will be reloaded in the reactor as targets. In the once-through option core, most of the
actinides are incinerated by fission when being discharged. Therefore a simple
reprocessing will be needed for extracting FPs.

Radioactive Waste

184

Core
Reprocessing
Pu MA FP
Separation
LLFP
RB Core
Reprocessing
Pu FP MA
Enriched U
Nat. U
Dep. U
Pu
Self-generated MA
transmutation core

Core
Reprocessing
Pu MA FP LLFP
Target
MA burning FRs using hydride fuel
target (MA burner option)
MA
RB
Reprocessing
FP Pu MA
H
HLW
HLW
RB: Radial blanket, HLW : High level radioactive waste
Separation

Fig. 18. Fuel cycle flow (Fujimura et al., 2001)
3.2.3 Mass balance data for nuclear material
Table 7 shows the mass balance data for investigating the introduction scenario. Electric
output of each core is 1GWe.
(a) Mass of MAs produced and transmutated
Twenty three kg of MAs are generated in an LWR per year. The FR without targets in table 7
is the self-generated MA transmutation FR core. Where transmuting no MAs, 28 kg of MAs
are generated in an FBR per year. In the MA burner option core, 36 targets in the core region
and 72 in the radial blanket region, for a total of 108 targets are loaded. Targets in the core
region are shuffled every irradiation cycle and moved to the first row of the radial blanket
region. They will be discharged after two more years irradiation. The MAs transmutation
rate is 47% in the discharged target and the annual transmutation mass is about 500kg /yr.
In the once-through option core, the target assemblies are discharged after six years of
irradiation and shuffling in the core region. The core fuel assemblies are discharged after
three years. Both MA transmutation and incineration rates are about 100% in the discharged
targets. The mass being transmuted and incinerated is about 30kg /yr.
(b) Amount of MAs produced and transmuted
The produced mass of Pu in an LWR is about 20 kg/yr. Because some assemblies in the
radial blankets will be exchanged with target assemblies, the breeding ratio will be less than
1 and Pu will be consumed. The consumed mass is about 300 kg/yr. Although depleted
uranium is loaded in the radial blanket region of the once-through option core, high Pu
enrichment due to the moderating effect of hydride in targets makes its breeding ratio about
1. Therefore annual Pu production and consumption becomes about zero. Target assemblies
are discharged after six years of irradiation and shuffling. Core fuel assemblies are
discharged after three years irradiation.
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

185
3.2.4 Introduction scenario
Transmutation characteristics of the MA burning FR core using hydride fuel targets were
enhanced in sec. 3.1. In this section, the effectiveness of thr MA accumulation and the total
number of spent target ass being reprocessed for the following cases.
(a) High projection case
(1) Without MA transmutation
MA accumulation was evaluated when an LWR and FBR without MA transmutation
function were assumed to be installed according to the nuclear power capacity shown in Fig.
16. MA accumulation in 2100 is about 320 t as shown in Fig. 20.
(2) With MA transmutation
Case-0 LWRthe self-generated MA transmutation FR core
In an FBR, the self-generated MAs are transmuted. This does not contribute to an increase of
MA accumulation out of reactors. Therefore MA accumulation in 2100 is about 190 t as
shown in Fig. 20. The decreasing rate of MA accumulation is about 40% for Case-0.
Case-1 LWRMA burner optionthe self-generated MAs transmutation FR core
All FBRs being installed after the 2010s were assumed to be the MA burner with Pu
recycling option core. New FBR plants, which will be installed after the 2050s when the
accumulation mass of MAs out of reactors becomes about zero, will be replaced by the self-
generated MAs transmutation FR core as shown in Fig. 19. In this scenario, MA
accumulation out of reactors will be kept at zero after 2060 as shown in Fig. 20. As
mentioned above, the spent target assemblies should be reprocessed. In this case, the total
number of spent target assemblies to be reprocessed is about 14,000.


0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100
Year
N
u
c
l
e
a
r

p
o
w
e
r

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y

G
W
e

Total
LWR
FRMA burner core
FRSelf-generated MAs
transmutationcore

Fig. 19. Projection of installed nuclear capacity (Case-1) (Fujimura et al., 2001)

Radioactive Waste

186
The number of installation plants for each type of FBR (the MA burner with Pu recycling
option core, the self-generated MA transmutation FR core) are set so that the amount of Pu
and MAs needed to start up their initial core will not be larger than their accumulation out
of reactors. The same applies for Case-2.
If MAs would not be transmuted, more than 300 t of MAs should be disposed as HLW. In
this scenario of Case-1, MA accumulation out of reactors will be zero at 2060 which reduces
potential radiotoxicity so much in relatively short period and cost for managing the HLW.

Year
1980 2000 20 40 60 80 2100
0
100
200
300
400
M
A

a
c
c
u
m
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

o
u
t

o
f

r
e
a
c
t
o
r
s

(
t
o
n
)
FBR

2020
LWR
MA burner core Adjusted by the
number of targets 490kg
Self-generated MA
transmutation core

Spent targets to be
reprocessed 14000

Without MA
transmutation
Self-generated MAs
transmutation core onlyCase-0
Annual MA transmutation/1GWe
0kg
LWR -23kgFBR -28kg

Fig. 20. MA accumulation out of reactors (Case-1) (Fujimura et al., 2001)
Case-2 LWRMA burner optionOnce-through optionthe self-generated MA
transmutation FR core
All FBRs being installed after the 2010s were assumed to be the MA burner with Pu recycling
option core until the ratio of FBR plant numbers to the LWR number is 1 to 21 as shown in Fig. 21.

0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100
Year
N
u
c
l
e
a
r

p
o
w
e
r

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y

G
W
e

FRMA once-through core


Total
LWR
FRMA burner core
FRSelf-generated MA
transmutation core

Fig. 21. Projection of installed nuclear capacity (Case-2) (Fujimura et al., 2001)
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

187
The once-through option core will be installed if the accumulation of MAs newly produced
by LWRs would not increase after 2040. After the 2070s, the number of target assemblies
loaded in the once- through option will be decreased in accordance with the decrease of the
increasing rate of cumulative amount of MAs due to the decrease in number of LWRs
plants. The once- through option core will be replaced by the self-generated MA
transmutation FR core. MA accumulation out of reactors will be kept zero in the year 2090
as shown in Fig. 22. Total number of MA burner option cores with Pu multi-recycling is less
than that of Case-1 and also the total number of spent target assemblies being reprocessed is
about 7000 which is half of that in Case-1. In this scenario of Case-2, the cost for reprocessing
the spent fuel will be decreased.

1980 2000 20 40 60 80 2100
Year
0
100
200
300
400

MA burner core
490kg
MA once-through core
FBR/LWR1/21
LWR
FBR

2020
30kg
Annual MAs transmutation/1GWe
Adjusted by the
number of targets
Self-generated MA
transmutation core
0kg
Spent targets to be
reprocessed 7000
M
A

a
c
c
u
m
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

o
u
t

o
f

r
e
a
c
t
o
r
s

(
t
o
n
)

Fig. 22. MA accumulation out of reactors (Case-2) (Fujimura et al., 2001)
(b) Low Projection Case LWRFR (No target)MA burner optionthe self-generated
MA transmutation FR core
Projection of installed nuclear capacity is shown in Fig. 23. In this figure, FR with no target
includes conventional type FBR core without MA transmutation and the self-generated MAs
transmutation FR core. Installation of the FBR will be started at the 2030s as conventional
type core without MA transmutation. The capacity growth of FBR is set to be about 1 GWe
or 3 GWe per 10 years between 20231 and 2060, and 10 GWe per 10 years between 2061 and
2160. Installation of the MA burner with Pu recycling option core will be started at the
2040s. The capacity growth of the core is set to be about 1 GWe or 3 GWe per 10 years
between 2041 and 2070. Its maximum capacity will be 18 GWe at 2080 as shown in Fig. 23.
The accumulation mass of MAs out of reactors becomes about zero at 2080 as shown in Fig.
24. After this year, the number of MA targets loaded in the MA burner with Pu recycling
option core will be reduced and some of the new FBR plants will be replaced by the
conventional type core without MA transmutation to keep the MA accumulation out of
reactors zero. Even though the number og spent target assemblies to be reprocessed was
increased being compared with that of Case-1, it is feasible that MA accumulation out of
reactors would be held to about zero within the 21st century.

Radioactive Waste

188
As shown above, the scenario with MA accumulation out of reactors as zero is feasible
within the 21st century by introducing the MA burning FR core using hydride fuel targets.

Fig. 23. Projection of installed nuclear capacity (Case-3) (Fujimura et al., 2001)

Fig. 24. MA accumulation out of reactors (Case-3) (Fujimura et al., 2001)
3.3 Summary for section 3
Transmutation characteristics of MA burning FR core using hydride fuel targets were
enhanced and an introduction scenario for the core was investigated.
1. The MA burner core with Pu multi-recycling could transmute the MAs produced in
about 21 LWRs each year. The targets were shuffled after the 1-year irradiated in the
core region and further irradiated for 2 years in the first row of the radial blanket
region. MA transmutation amount could be increased compared with that in the sec. 2
while being increased thermal margine of MA hydride fuel.
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

189
2. The MA once-through core could incinerate almost all MAs loaded in targets by fission
during a 6-year irradiation in the core region. The merit of this option is that it could
avoid such problems as reprocessing of spent target.
3. By introducing all FRs with the MA burner core after the year of 2020, the following
scenario would be feasible. The residual amount of MAs from LWR spent fuel would
be held to about zero within the 21st century and all FRs would be changed to the self-
generated MA transmutation core without targets.
When the MA once-through cores are introduced with MA burner cores, the total
number of targets to be reprocessed could be reduced by about 50%.
4. Even in the low projection case while the MA burner cores are installed at the 2030s
after conventional fast breeder reactor without MA transmutation, MA accumulation
out of reactors would be held to about zero within the 21st century.
4. Feasibility of the actinide hydride containing Np and Am as a
transmutation target fuel
4.1 Feasibility study using a simulated actinide hydride fuel
Feasibility of the actinide-hydride containing
237
Np,
241
Am and
243
Am as a transmutation
target fuel to reduce the amount of long-lived actinides in the high level nuclear waste was
studied by employing UTh
4
Zr
10
H
x
, as a simulated actinide hydride fuel. Th was used as a
surrogate for minor actinides from the viewpoint of handling radioactive material as well as
its similar thermodynamic stability as those of minor actinide hydrides.
4.2 Fabrication and property measurement of the simulated actinide hydride fuel
The pellets of the simulated actinide hydride fuel were successfully fabricated through
alloying and hydrogenation within expected diameter errors. Figure 25 shows that the
U-Th-Zr hydride consists of three phases: U-metal, ThZr
2
H
x
and ZrH
x
. As shown in Fig. 26,
the U-Th-Zr hydride can hold more hydrogen at temperatures above 1173K than the U-Zr
hydride (Yamamoto et al., 1994). This is realized due to the higher thermodynamic stability
of ThZr
2
H
x
phase formed in the U-Th-Zr hydride than the U-Zr hydride used in the TRIGA
reactors. This finding led to the present concept of the hydride fuel target containing
237
Np,
241
Am and
243
Am for effective transmutation (Yamawaki et al., 1997).

Fig. 25. Back-scattered electron image of UTh
4
Zr
10
H
20
. The black areas consist of Zr hydride;
the gray region of ThZr
2
H
x
; the white areas of U metal (Yamamoto et al., 1994)

Radioactive Waste

190


Fig. 26. Equilibrium hydrogen concentration in U-Th-Zr alloys under various hydrogen
pressures at 1173K (left figure) and that at various temperatures under 10
5
Pa (right figure).
Those of unalloyed Zr are shown as solid lines without symbols attached (Yamamoto et al.,
1994)
Fundamental properties such as thermal diffusivity (Fig.27) and thermal expansion (Fig.28)
have been measured for the hydride fuel pin design. The thermal diffusivities, , of
UTh
4
Zr
10
H
18-27
were measured using a laser-flash method (Tsuchiya et al., 2002) in the
temperature range from room temperature to 950 K as shown in Fig.27. The thermal
diffusivities have been measured both during increase and decrease of the temperature. The
results of the respective values were in good agreement. This indicates that the hydrogen
release from the specimens was negligible during the measurement. The thermal diffusivity
is described as the sum of the lattice contribution and the electronic contribution. The
defects due to hydrogen losses in the crystal structure of the hydride increase with decrease
of hydrogen content. The marked decrease of the thermal diffusivity at temperatures lower
than about 650K seems to be attributed to the effect of such hydrogen defects on the lattice
contribution. The thermal conductivity, , of UTh
4
Zr
10
H
x
was calculated from the following
relation of the measured , the literature data of the density, , and the estimated value of
specific heat Cp:
= Cp (W/cmK), (1)
where
Cp = 0.110 + 6.8710
-4
T + 6.3610
-3
x (J/gK),
= (1.11x21.2)/T + 2.2910
-2
+ (3.1810
-6
x + 7.5910
-5
)T (cm
2
/sec),
= 8.42.9910
-2
x (g/cm
3
).
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

191
The thermal conductivity evaluated in this study as shown in Fig. 29 and the thermal
expansion measured in this study are essentially important to estimate the temperature and
the mechanical integrity of the hydride fuel during irradiation. The hydride fuel
decomposes at high temperature, so that the temperature evaluation and mechanical
behavior estimation are especially important for this fuel.
4.3 Irradiation tests
Irradiation tests of the simulated actinide hydride target have been conducted in Japan
Material Testing Reactor (JMTR) of JAEA. Two irradiation tests of the U-Th-Zr hydride
fuel were carried out. The irradiation conditions of the first test were burnup of
0.2% FIMA (Fraction per Initial Metal Atom), linear heat rate of 140 W/cm , fast neutron
dose of 1.1010
19
n/cm
2
and thermal neutron dose of 1.2310
20
n/cm
2
. The irradiation
conditions of the second test were changed to burnup of 1.1% FIMA, linear heat
rate of 178 W/cm, fast neutron dose of 4.6610
19
n/cm
2
and thermal neutron dose of
6.4310
20
n/cm
2
. After irradiation, non-destructive and destructive examinations were
performed in each test. It was confirmed that the integrity of the hydride fuel was kept
intact through irradiation, supporting the feasibility of the present concept for the
hydride fuel target.


Fig. 27. Thermal diffusivity of UTh
4
Zr
10
H
18-27
(Open symbols: increasing temperature; Solid
symbols: decreasing temperature) (Tsuchiya et al., 2002)

Radioactive Waste

192

Fig. 28. Thermal expansions of U-Th-Zr hydrides
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
300 400 500 600 700 800 900
x=18
x=20
x=22
x=24
x=26
x=27
T
h
e
r
m
a
l

C
o
n
d
u
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

(
W
/
c
m
K
)
Temperature (K)

Fig. 29. Thermal conductivity of UTh
4
Zr
10
H
x
(x=18-27)
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

193
4.4 Summary for section 4
Feasibility of the actinide hydride containing
237
Np,
241
Am and
243
Am as a transmutation
target fuel to be used to reduce the amount of long-lived actinides in the high level nuclear
waste has been studied by employing UTh
4
Zr
10
H
x
as a simulated actinide hydride fuel,
where Th is a surrogate for minor actinides. The pellets of the simulated actinide hydride
fuel were successfully fabricated through alloying and hydrogenation within expected
diameter errors. It was shown that the U-Th-Zr hydride fuel has higher stability at high
temperature than U-Zr hydride. Fundamental properties of UTh
4
Zr
10
H
x
such as thermal
diffusivity and thermal expansion have been measured and then thermal conductivity was
evaluated. These properties are important to evaluate the temperature and mechanical
integrity of the hydride fuel during irradiation. Irradiation tests of the simulated hydride
fuel were carried out in JMTR of JAEA. It was found that the integrity of the simulated
hydride fuel was kept intact through irradiation. This suggests the integrity of the actual
hydride fuel to be kept through irradiation, supporting the feasibility of the present concept
of using the hydride as transmutation target.
5. Conclusion
High-level radioactive wastes are generated after reprocessing of spent fuels from nuclear
reactors, which include long-lived radioactive nuclides of actinides and fission products.
The currently available method for final disposal of the high-level wastes is to vitrify them,
to store them and to dispose them underground. To reduce the work needed to carry out
this type isolation job, a number of transmutation methods have been proposed and studied.
This chapter reports an innovative efficient method for transmutation of minor actinides
(MAs) by applying hydride targets to fast reactors.
Fast rector core concepts have been studied to reduce long-life radiotoxicity of nuclear waste
by applying MA-containing zirconium hydride fuel targets. Systematic parameter survey
has been carried out to investigate the fundamental characteristics of MA transmutation and
the core safety parameters such as sodium void reactivity in a 1,000 MWe-class fast reactor
core. Two core concepts were proposed, using 36 target assemblies, by adjusting the
composition of hydride fuels. One is the MA burner core to transmute a large amount of
MAs in a short time combined with Pu multi-recycling in fast reactors, whereby the MAs
produced in about 13 light water reactors (LWRs) can be transmuted every year with a 58%
MA transmutation rate in discharged targets. The other is the MA once-through core to
incinerate a small amount of MAs by fission, whereby the MAs produced in about 2 LWRs
can be incinerated every year with a 64% MA incineration rate due to 93% transmutation
rate in discharged targets. These concepts have been shown to have great potential to
achieve good transmutation characteristics of MAs while providing the improved safety
characteristics of a fast reactor core.
A scenario to reduce the long-life radiotoxicity of nuclear waste by applying fast reactor
cores loaded with hydride fuel targets have been investigated. The MA burner core with Pu
multi-recycling can transmute MAs as much as produced in 21 LWRs a year. The targets are
shuffled after irradiated 1 year in the core region, then further irradiated for 2 years in the
radial blanket region. The MA once-through core can incinerate almost all of the MAs in

Radioactive Waste

194
targets by fission during 6-year irradiation in the core region. Introduction of the MA burner
core for all fast reactors (FRs) after the year 2020 allows the following scenario. The residual
amount of MAs from LWR spent fuel can be held nearly zero within the 21st century and all
FRs will be changed to the self-generated MA transmutation core without the targets. When
the MA once-through cores are introduced with MA burner cores, the total number of
targets to be reprocessed can be reduced by 50%. Even in the low projection case while the
MA burner cores are installed after conventional FRs, MA accumulation would also be held
to nearly zero within the 21st century.
Feasibility of the actinide hydride containing Np and Am as a transmutation target fuel to
reduce the amount of long-lived actinides in the high level nuclear waste was studied by
employing UTh
4
Zr
10
H
x
as a simulated actinide hydride fuel where Th is a surrogate for
minor actinides. The pellets of this simulated actinide hydride fuel were successfully
fabricated through alloying and hydrogenation within expected diameter error. The U-Th-
Zr hydride can hold a larger amount of hydrogen above 1173K than the U-Zr hydride due to
higher thermodynamic stability of the former than the latter. Thermal diffusivity and
thermal expansion coefficient of UTh
4
Zr
10
H
x
were measured, from which thermal
conductivity was evaluated.
Irradiation tests of the simulated actinide hydride fuel target have been carried out in Japan
Material Testing Reactor (JMTR) of JAEA. Two tests were conducted up to the burnup of
0.2% and 1.1% FIMA (Fission per initial metal atom) each. After irradiations, both non-
destructive and destructive examinations were carried out, which showed that the integrity
of the hydride fuel was kept intact through irradiation. This result supports the feasibility of
the concept of the hydride fuel as a transmutation target.
6. References
Kondo, Y. & Takizuka, T.(1994). Technology Assesment of Partitioning Process (1) Status
of the Partitioning Technology-, JAERI-M-94-067 [in Japanese].
Wakabayashi, T., et al., (1995). Feasibility Studies of an Optimized Fast Reactor Core for MA
and FP Transmutation, Proceeding of the International Conference on Evaluation of
Emerging Nuclear Fuel Cycle Systems (GLOBAL'95), Versailles.
Kawashima, K., et al., (1997). Utilization of Fast Reactor Excess Neutrons for Burning Minor
Actinides and Long Lived FPs, Proceeding of the International Conference on Future
Nuclear Systems (GLOBAL'97), Yokohama.
Takano, H., et al., (1990). Higher Actinide Confinement Transmutation Fuel Cycles in
Fission Reactors, Proc. PHYSOR 90, Marseilles, P III-145.
Masumi, R., et al., (1995). Minor Actinide Transmutation in BWR Cores for Multi-recycle
Operation with Less Minor Actinide-to-Fissile Plutonium Amount Ratio, J. Nucl.
Sci. Technol., 32[10], 965.
Rome, M., et al., (1996). Use of Fast Reactors to Burn Long-Life Actinides, Especially Am,
Produced by Current Reactors, Proc. PHYSOR 96 , Mito, M-52.
Simnad, M.T., (1981). The U-ZrHx Alloy: Its Properties and Use in TRIGA Fuel, Nuclear
Engineering and Design, 64, 403-422.
Substantial Reduction of High Level Radioactive Waste by
Effective Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactors Using Innovative Targets

195
Yamamoto, T., et al., (1995). Development of New Reactor Fuel Materials, Hydrogen
Absorption Properties of U-Th, U-Th-Zr and U-Th-Ti-Zr Alloys, J. Nucl. Sci.
Technol, 32[3], 260.
Yamawaki, M., et al., (1998). Concept of Hydride Fuel Target Subassemblies in a Fast
Reactor Core for Effective Transmutation of MA, J. Alloys Comp. Vol. 530, pp.271-
273.
Sanda, T., et al., (2000). Fast Reactor Core Concepts for Minor Actinide Transmutation Using
Hydride Fuel Targets, J. Nucl. Sci. Technol.,37[4],335.
Konashi, K., et al., (2001). Development of Actinide-Hydride Target for Transmutation of
Nuclear Waste, Proceeding of the International Conference on Future Nuclear Systems
(GLOBAL'01), Paris.
Briesmeister, (Ed.) J., (1993). MCNP A General Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code,
Version 4A, Report LA-12625-M, Los Alamos, USA.
Tsuchihashi, K., et al., (1986). Revised SRAC code system, JAERI-1302.
Takeda, T., & Yokoyama, K., (1997). Study on Neutron Spectrum for Effective
Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Thermal Reactors, Ann. Nucl. Energy, 24[9],
705.
Yokoo, T., et al., (1995). Performances of Minor Actinides Recycling LMRs, Proceeding of the
International Conference on Evaluation of Emerging Nuclear Fuel Cycle Systems
(GLOBAL'95), Versailles, 1570.
At. Energy Soc. Jpn. Ed., (1994). Present Status of Transmutation Research and
Development, p.1-10, [in Japanese].
Greenspan, E., (1997). Private Communication.
Simnad, M.T., (1980). GA-A16029.
Fujimura, K., et al., (2001). Enhancement of Transmutation Characteristics of the Minor
Actinide Burning Fast Reactor Core Concept Using Hydride Fuel Targets and Its
Introduction Scenario, J. Nucl. Sci. Technol.,38[10],879.
Konashi, K., et al., (2000). Transmutation Method Using Neutron Irradiation Targets of
Actinide-Hydrides, Proc. ICENES 2000 , Petten, the Netherlands, 244.
Wajima, T., et. al., (1996). A Strategy Analysis of the Fast Breeder reactor Introduction and
Nuclear Fuel Cycle Systems Development, Nihon-Genshiryoku-Gakkai Shi ( At.
Energy Soc. Jpn.), 38[2], 133, [in Japanese].
Hamamoto, K., et. al., (2001). High Moderation MOX Cores for Effective Use of Plutonium
in LWRs, Nihon-Genshiryoku-Gakkai Shi ( At. Energy Soc. Jpn.), 43[5], 503, [in
Japanese].
Kobayashi, K., et al., (1997). Applicability Evaluation of MOX Fuelled Fast Breeder Reactor
to the Self-Consistent Nuclear Energy System, Proceeding of the International
Conference on Future Nuclear Systems (GLOBAL'97), Yokohama, 1062.
Yamamoto, T., Kayano, T., Suwarno, H. and Yamawaki, M., (1994). Hydrogen Absorptin
Properties of U-Th-Zr and U-Th-Ti-Zr Alloys, Sci. Rep. RITU, A40, 13-16.
Yamawaki, M., et al., (1997). Development of MA-Containing Hydride Fuel as MA Burning
Target Material, Proceeding of the International Conference on Future Nuclear Systems
(GLOBAL'97), Yokohama..

Radioactive Waste

196
Tsuchiya, B., Konashi, K., Yamawaki, M. and Nakajima, Y., (2002). Thermal Diffusivity of
U-Th-Zr Hydride at High Temperature, J. Nucl. Sci. Technol. Supplement 3, p.855.
9
Clean-Up and
Decontamination of Hot-Cells
From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor
A. O. Pavelescu and M. Dragusin
Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH),
Bucharest-Mgurele,
Romania
1. Introduction
The Horia Hulubei Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering VVR-S type research
reactor from Magurele-Bucharest, Romania was shut down 13 years ago, in 1997, after 40
years of operation.
Radioisotope production generated a significant contamination in the reactor main building,
ventilation system and radioactive leakage drainage, overflow and collecting system. Major
radioactive contaminants generated by this activity, with the half life higher than one year,
are: Co-60, Cs-134, Cs-137, Sr-90, Eu-152, U-238 and Am-241 [1].
Four hot cells, a transfer room, a chemical laboratory and a decontamination solution
preparation room are placed in the basement of the reactor hall and were used
for processing the radioactive materials coming from the reactor. The hot cells and
the transfer room are disposed one next to another and the communication between them
was performed through a transfer channel in which a transfer truck, carried materials
inside the hot-cells. The VVR-S hot cells are highly contaminated and contain a lot
of radioactive sources and activated materials. For this reason, this area is inaccessible
and contamination measurements are not possible. The total activity of materials
abandoned in these rooms it is not known, but it is expected to be of about 15 Ci
(0.55 TBq). During the hot-cells decommissioning, these radioactive sources and materials
will be evacuated.
The cleanup of the hot cells will be carried out under preservation license on the basis of
an Activity Plan approved by Romanian National Commission of Nuclear Activities
(CNCAN). IFIN-HH has an organizational structure in accordance with the Quality
Management Program provisions for the activities developed inside the Institute. The
reactor decommissioning department (DDR) includes a Quality Assurance Compartment
(AC). The AC staff verifies the observance of the quality assurance conditions and the
radiological security. The AC compartment reports to the IFIN-HH top management all
the nonconformities related to the quality management systems and regarding the

Radioactive Waste

198
radiological security requirements. All the members of the AC compartment are assigned
with the CNCAN approval and are given responsibilities in accordance with the
legislation in force.
2. General data necessary for the waste/material clean-up
2.1 Layout of the hot cells
The layout of the VVR-S research reactor hot cells is presented in the Fig. 1 bellow.







Fig. 1. The hot cells complex (HC1-HC5) [2]

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

199
Access to hot cells 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 is made from the "dirty corridor" 17. Hot cell No. 1 (HC 1)
has the following dimensions: length 3200 mm, width 2000 mm, height 3400 mm (2800
compartment without lamps). HC 1 can be accessed through a locked access corridors with
a metal door (cast iron) having a thickness of 350 mm. Access corridors dimensions are:
length 750 mm, width 900 mm, height 1600 mm. Hot cells 2, 3, 4 are identical in size and
access, and have the dimensions of: length 2000 mm, width 1200 mm, height 2600 mm.
(2000 mm without lamps compartment);
Access to HC 2, is made through a locked access corridors with a metal door (cast iron)
having a thickness of 350 mm towards room 17 and a thin door (protection against
contamination) of steel to hot room . Access corridors dimensions are: 1250 mm length mm,
width 600 mm, height 1200 mm.
Access to HC3 or HC4 is made through identical in size corridors with the corridor for
accessing the described HC2. Hot cells are fully clad with stainless steel sheet. For handling
hot objects in the hot-cells mechanical arms are used, two for each room. Visibility is
provided by the visor of Pb glass and lighting by lamps placed in separated niches in the
ceiling.
Hot cells are ventilated on the inside (to ensure a depression of 5 mm H
2
O from the outside).
Hot air is discharged from the room through HEPA filters.
The HC 1 represented in Fig. 1 above, has the following dimensions: 2000 mm length,
1200 mm wide, 2600 mm height (2000 mm without the light compartment) [2]. The access
in hot cell 4 (HC 4), is made by a closed metallic door from cast iron with a thickness of
350 mm towards room 17 and a thin door (for protection against contamination) made
from stainless steel towards the hot cell. The access corridor dimensions are: 1250 mm
length; 600 mm wide; 1200 mm height. The hot cells are entirely covered with stainless
steel plate.
To calculate the biological shielding of the hot cells, it has been considered that the highest
activity which one works with is 2.69 x 10
4
Ci (approx. 1 PBq) and the gamma radiation
energy is 1.65 MeV. [2].
The biological shielding has the following characteristics [1]:
The biological shield in the upper side is achieved through a 2 m concrete layer of
2.3 g/cm
3
density and laterally through a concrete layer of 75 cm and a density of
4.2 g/cm
3
;
Lead-glass eye-sleds, with 0.72 m of thickness;
Between the hot cells, there are heavy concrete walls with 0.65 cm of thickness.
The radiological situation presented below is based on the hot-cell operating history
described in an internal report made by the IFIN-HH Centre of Radioisotopes Production in
2003.
2.2 Hot-cells operating history
The VVR-S hot-cells operation history was used to approximate the contaminants in the HC
interior and is presented in Table 1 [3].

Radioactive Waste

200
Period Operations Sources Inventories
1957 1990
Production of radioisotopes
for medical purposes,
radiochemicals and various
industrial applications
(furnaces, measuring, etc)
Medical products:
131
I approx. 100
Ci/yr;
99
Mo approx. 50 Ci/yr;
198
Au
approx. 50 Ci/yr;
192
Ir sources of SRC
type approx. 1000 pc/yr x 50 mCi/pc =
50 Ci/an;
90
Y approx. 2Ci/yr;
Radiochemicals:
82
Br approx. 2Ci/yr;
42
K approx. 4 Ci/yr;
32
P approx.3
Ci/yr;
35
S approx.300 mCi/yr, various
radiochemicals: activities max. 5 Ci/yr;
60
Co sources for furnaces and other
industrial applications, approx. 5
Ci/an
1970 1983
Additional
192
Ir sources were
produced for gammagraphy
192
Ir sources with activities of approx.
15 Ci 20 Ci/source and total activities
between 1000 Ci/yr and 8500 Ci/yr
19801985
Small uranium quantities have
been irradiated for research
purposes, while trying to
perform fission molybdenum
separation for obtaining
99
Mo-
99m
Tc generators

01.01.1990 -
01.01.1998
Radionuclides were produced
for medical and industrial use
by irradiation of targets
embedded in non-radioactive
nuclear grade aluminum
blocks with dimensions of 37 x
140 mm and 22 x 140 mm in
wet canals.
Medical products:
131
I approx. 100
Ci/year;
99
Mo approx. 50 Ci/yr;
198
Au
approx. 50 Ci/yr; sources
192
Ir type
SRC approx.1000 pc/yr x 50 mCi/pc =
50 Ci/yr;
Irradiated silicon for the electronics
industry: between 10 and 30 blocks;
Various radiochemicals, activity max. 5
Ci / year;
60
Co sources for furnaces and other
industrial applications, activity
approx. 2 Ci/yr.
01.01.1998 -
01.01.2003
Operations for the production
of radioisotopes were not
conducted.

Table 1. Hot-cells operation history
2.3 Radiological situation
Existing estimated sources inventory in the VVR-S reactor hot-cells are given in Table 2
below [3]:

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

201
Hot cells Inventory Activity
Hot cell 1
In the existing deposit under the room worktop
low activity sources of
60
Co may be found (this
deposit has not been accessed since 1985);
60
Co small spheres, activity 1 Ci in 1997,
respectively 0,5 Ci at 1.01.2003;
134
Cs 50 mCi in 1994, respectively 1.6 mCi in
2003.
Estimated activities are:
60
Co 30 mCi in
irradiation boxes;
30 mCi in taps;
4 mCi in bars;
65
Zn 7mCi in
irradiation boxes;
7 mCi in caps;
1 mCi in irradiation
bars.
The rest of generated
radionuclides:
51
Cr,
59
Fe,
46
Sc,
140
La,
24
Na
have most certainly
decayed. Resulted
residues from cutting
the irradiation boxes
contain the same
radionuclides in
quantities approx. 10
times smaller than the
irradiation boxes. [3]
Hot cell 2
Approximately 1000 bars containing sources of
192
Ir, produced after 1983.
Hot cell 3

Bottles with residual solutions of
60
Co,
134
Cs,
133
Ba,
63
Ni. Total activity may be around 50 mCi;
Bottles containing fission production prepared
in the period 1980-1982:
90
Sr,
137
Cs,
134
Cs. Total
activity may be around 50 mCi;
Hot cell 4
Plastic bag containing textile material used in
decontamination,
Plastic bag containing cellulosic material filter
paper,
Irradiation box lead lest,
Cotton mop, cylinder (filled) 37 x 60 possibly
of Pb counterweight;
Empty can box without cap 800 ml,
Stainless steel cylinders without cap 25 x 70
empty,
Plastic bag containing 2 bars probably with
sources at their end;
Mechanical hand tweezers
Hot cell 5 HC 5 is empty and presents no radiological risk.
Hot cells 1-
4
In all the HC there are also irradiation boxes as
follows:
Maximum no. of irradiation boxes 1500 boxes
distributed in HC 1,2,3 and 4;
1500 taps and approximately 600 irradiations
bars;
An undetermined number of irradiation boxes
and irradiation bars with uncut caps.
Approx. 80 kg of Pb pellets of unknown isotopic
composition are distributed in HC 1, 2 and 4 as
well. [3]
Table 2. VVR-S hot-cell sources inventory and activity

Radioactive Waste

202
In HC 3 there are approximately 500 small paper baskets, approx.10 kg of glass, and approx.
2 kg of paper, as it can be seen in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2. Images through HC 3 visor. [4]
Due to the fact that it was open in 2006, HC 4 is the best characterized hot cell (Fig. 3 and Fig. 4).

Fig. 3. Images from the Operator Room No. 4 (OR 4) serving the HC 4 [4]

Fig. 4. Interior of the hot cell no. 4 (HC 4), opened in July 2006 [4]

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

203
The HC 4 measured dose rates are presented in Table 3

No. Device Detector Measuring Location Measuring Value
1
Eberline

Eberline

Eberline

Eberline
Eberline
Eberline
Eberline
Eberline
Eberline

Eberline














Margins of opened exterior iron-cast
protection door
42 Sv/h
2 Margins of plated interior door 280 Sv/h
3
Protection metal plate of the
visitation window from transfer
truck tunnel
200 Sv/h
4 HC4 Centre at 0,5 m above the floor 1.4 mSv/h
5 HEPA filter level (near the filter) 0.7 mSv/h
6 Room Centre, floor level 9.2 mSv/h
7 Room centre, 1,5 m above floor level 0.3 mSv/h
8 Near floor drainage 4.4 mSv/h
9 Near the wall, left of the entrance 1.4 mSv/h
10
Middle waste tray. Probably the 2
bars from plastic bag contain sources
18 mSv/h
Table 3. Dose rate measurements in HC 4 in 24.07.2006 according to dosimetric service
procedure AC-PO-DDR-501-01 [4]
The presumed total radionuclide inventory in 2003 is presented below in Table 4:


Radionuclide T
1/2
Observations Radionuclide T
1/2
Observations
I-131 8.04 d Fission product Sr-90 29.1 y Fission product
Mo-99 2.75 d Fission product Cs-137 30 y Fission product
Au-198 2.69 d Radioisotope Zn-65 244 d Radioisotope
Ir-192 74 d Radioisotope Cr-51 27.7d Radioisotope
Y-90 2.62 d Radioisotope Fe-59 45.1 d Radioisotope
Br-82 1.47 d Radioisotope Sc-46 83.8 d Radioisotope
K-42 12.44 h Radioisotope La-140 1.68 d Radioisotope
P-32 14.3 d Radioisotope Na-24 15 h Radioisotope
Tc-99 6.02 h Fission product Co-60 5.27 y Radioisotope
Cs-134 2.06 y Fission product Mo-99 2.75 d Radioisotope
Ba-133 10.7 y Radioisotope Ni-63 96 y Radioisotope
Table 4. Approximate contamination nuclide inventory and their half-life time in the hot-
cells, reported in 2003, for the working activity cease in 1998 [4]
Dose rate in hot cells during and after their clean-up is currently unknown and an
evaluation is presented in section 4.

Radioactive Waste

204
3. Clean-up and decontamination activities for hot cell no. 4
3.1 Material transfer
The following activities will be accomplished in the following sequence [5]:
1. Waste transfer from HC 4 to HC 5 and then to the conditioning containers or
intermediate disposal.
Transfer route: HV 4 (direct connecting conduct between HC 4HC 5, or HC 4
connecting tunnel DC 17 Room 19 HC 5 HC 5 (preliminary measurement and
containing) lift-up in Room 102 (auto lock), containing in adequate barrels Room 101
(NR hall quota 0,00 m) Room 103 (radiological characterization of contained wastes)
Room 101 (NR hall quota 0,00 m) room 102 (auto lock), expedition in to the treatment
plant in view of conditioning or intermediate disposal.
2. Identification/inventory of the evacuated wastes: Wastes from HC4 are identified
using photos obtained while opening HC4 from 24.07.2007 for measuring the dose rate.
3. Measures in HC4 (in 24.07.2006 according to the dosimetry service AC-PO-DDR-501-
01) [4]
4. Evacuation of materials from HC 4 (for measuring the dose rate)
Using the direct connecting conduct from HC 4 and HC 5, the following operations are
performed:
a. The access door to the direct connecting conduct is opened from HC5 (room 20);
b. Utilizing the mechanical hands from HC 4, the small wastes can be grasped then
pushed through the inclined conduct towards HC5 in the following order as follows:
plastic bag containing textile material used in decontamination, plastic bag containing
cellulosic material filter paper, irradiation box lead lest penal, cotton mop, cylinder
(filled) 37 x 60 possibly of Pb counterweight; empty can box without cap 800 ml,
stainless steel cylinders without cap 25 x 70 empty, plastic bag containing 2 bars
probably with sources at their end; mechanical hand tweezers.
Wastes extracted one by one are measured with a dosimeter probe already installed in HC 5
in view of transfer in the adequate container.
NOTE: From the analysis of the dose rate measurement of 18 mSv on the waste tray, it is
presumed that the greater dose is given by the plastic bag containing 2 bars probably with
sources at the end on the respective tray. Before the evacuation of this bag, in HC 5, a lead
container is let down from Room 102, which is adequate for disposal of this waste. The
manipulation of the transferred wastes from HC 5 is made according to the operation
procedure AC-PL-DDR-03. [6]
5. Opening the HC 5 doors
After the opening of doors from behind HC 5 the following operation take place:
a. Opening of the biological protection door from HC 4 as follows:
- The dose rate is measured and noted in the centre of the biological protection door
opening, the centre of connecting tunnel with the HC4 contour and in the centre of
interior protection door of the HC 4 (closed)

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

205
- The dose rate is measured at the surface in the centre of the protection plate of the
carriage tunnel (on the floor)
- Samples are taken and they are contamination of the walls is analyzed, as well as the
ceiling and the floor and of the ceiling of the HC4 connecting tunnel;
- The HC 4 connecting tunnel interior surfaces are decontaminated. Non-fixed
contamination is removed to prevent its transfers on the protection wearing or clothing.
The decontamination is made by vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter, and the by
cleaning with a wet cloths using organic solvents or with detergent and finally with
water wet cloths for cleansing.
b. Interior protection door is opened in HC 4 by sliding to the left as follows:
- Dose rate is measured and noted in the centre of the opened door, in the centre of the
room, in the centre of the room, near various objects in the room.
- Working time are calculated for manipulation operations of the radioactive wastes (the
most active object)
- Manipulation times are established in function of route distances, as well as the layout
of the objects in the containers;
- The operation will begin with the object having the greatest dose rate
c. Transfer/evacuation of the wastes from HC 4
- From the operation room, with the aid of the mechanical hands the remaining objects
are pushed one at a time, towards the centre of the room and in the access door of the
HC 4, in such a way that the operator will not be forced to expose his body to the HC 4
interior;
- The most active object is grabbed with the manipulator having the length of 1 meter.
The object is taken out of the HC 4 and it is put in the prepared container, situated
either in the connecting tunnel with HC 4, either in the corridor 17 near the biological
protection door of the HC 4. The contained cover is mounted, the interior protection HC
4 door is closed and it is assured by sealing.
- The container is transported in HC 5. From the HC 5 operator room, the object activity
is measured. The manipulation of the devices found in the hot cells of the VVR-S
nuclear reactor is made according to the AC-PL-DDR-03 procedure [6].
d. The container is transported in the room 102, there it is loaded in an adequate barrel
and it is transferred through hall 101 in room 103 in view of characterization and later
transfer towards the Department of Radioactive Wastes Management, according to the
operating procedure PO-DDR-827 [7].
e. The steps from c), d) and e) are retaken until reaching the complete emptiness of the HC 4.
NOTE: Special working obligatory equipment is required as follows: sealed protection
costume, resistant to water drops, with prepared air feeding and telephonic communication
line. The operations are performed only with manipulators, pincers and homeostatic pincers
for griping, manipulation of the HC 4 objects. Operator will not expose his full body by
entering the hot cell, in order to retrieve and process the objects inside.
3.2 Decontamination of the HC 4 interior
The following activities will be accomplished in the following sequence [5]:

Radioactive Waste

206
- The dose rate in the completely empty HC 4 is measured;
- The working times are calculated for the scenario in which the operator exposes his full
body by completely enter the room;
- The interior of the HC is decontaminated by washing with water and detergent jet, and
then only with water jet utilizing the pressure equipment. Small fine water droplets are
produced which can contaminate the protection costume and the HC 4 connecting
tunnel;
- The decontamination solution is evacuated from HC 4 by removing the lid from the
room drainage system (utilizing the manipulator). If the drainage is stuck, the
decontamination solution is recovered by peristaltic pump (80 l/h) and it is spilled in
the active drainage connection from corridor 17;
- When attaining an acceptable dose rate of 60-100 Sv/day measured in the centre of the
room, the operator enters inside the HC 4 and the walls are decontaminated with a wet
cloth with organic solvents, collecting the cloths in recipients situated at the beginning
of the connecting tunnel.
3.3 Closing of the HC 4
The procedure is similar with the one for opening if HC 4, but in reverse order [5]:
- The HC 4 connecting tunnel door is closed;
- The radiation field is measured and recorded in the connecting tunnel from corridor 17
and HC 4;
- The biological protection door towards the corridor 17 is closed and sealed;
- Secondary wastes resulted from corridors 17, 19 and 20 (floors foils);
- The radiation field from the corridors17, 19 and 20 is measured.
NOTE: After closing the HC 4 becomes clean and fully operational.
4. Dose/Risk modeling using RESRAD computer codes package
4.1 RESRAD Build 3.5 Code
RESRAD is a computer code designed to estimate radiation doses and risks from RESidual
RADioactive materials (Fig. 5) [8]. The only code designated by Department Of Energy for
the evaluation of radioactively contaminated sites.
United States National Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the use of RESRAD for
dose evaluation by licensees involved in decommissioning, NRC staff evaluation of waste
disposal requests and dose evaluation of sites being reviewed by NRC.
RESRAD has been applied to over 300 sites in the U.S. and other countries. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board reviewed the RESRAD model. EPA used
RESRAD in rule-making on radiation site cleanup regulations.
RESRAD code has been verified and has undergone several benchmarking analyses, and has
been included in the IAEA's VAMP and BIOMOVS II codes to compare environmental
transport models. RESRAD training workshops have been held at DOE, NRC, and EPA
headquarters. Around 800 people have been trained at these workshops and RESRAD has
been used by several universities as a teaching tool as well.

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

207

Fig. 5. RESRAD computer code package [8]
The RESRAD Build Code is a model for analyzing the radiological doses resulting from the
remediation and occupancy of buildings contaminated with radioactive material with the
following features (Fig. 6) [9]:
- Considers external exposure, inhalation of dust and radon, and ingestion of soil/dust.
- Up to 10 sources and 10 receptors can be modeled.
- Sources geometry can be point, line, plane, or volume.
- Building can be any structure composed of up to three compartments.
- Radioactive contamination can be on surface or in building material.
- Exposure scenarios considered include building occupancy (residential use and office
worker) and building remediation (decontamination worker and building renovation
worker).

Fig. 6. Exposure Pathways Incorporated into the RESRAD-BUILD Computer Code [9]

Radioactive Waste

208
Parameter Unit
Building
Occupancy
a
Building
Renovation
b
Remarks
Exposure
duration
days (d) 365.25 179.00
To match the occupancy period of
365.25 days in NUREG/CR-5512
building occupancy scenario
(Beyeler et al. 1999 [8]) and
renovation period of 179 days in
NUREG/CR-5512 building
renovation scenario (Wernig et al.
1999 [9]).
Indoor
fraction
_
c
0.267 0.351
To match the 97.5 d/yr time in
building in NUREG/CR-5512
building occupancy scenario
(Beyeler et al. 1999) and
62.83 days spent in the
building during renovation
period in NUREG/CR-5512
building renovation scenario
(Wernig et al. 1999 [9]).
Receptor
location
m 0, 0, 1 0, 0, 1
At 1-m from the center of the
source.
Receptor
inhalation rate
m
3
/d 33.6 38.4
For building occupancy scenario it
matches with 1.4 m
3
/h breathing
rates in NUREG/CR-5512 (Beyeler
et al. 1999 [8]) and for building
renovation scenario it matches with
1.6 m3/h breathing rate of
moderate activity given in the EPA
Exposure Factor Handbook (EPA
1997 [9]).
Receptor
indirect
ingestion rate
m
2
/h 1.12x10
-4
0
Value for the building occupancy
scenario is the mean value from the
distribution and for the building
renovation scenario it is assumed
the ingestion is only from the direct
contact with the source.
Source type - _ Area Volume
For building occupancy scenario it
is assumed that contamination is
only on the surfaces, whereas for
the building renovation scenario is
volumetric

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

209
Parameter Unit
Building
Occupancy
a
Building
Renovation
b
Remarks
Direct
ingestion rate
1/h (area)
g/h
(volume)
3.06 x 10
-6
0.052
Calculated from the default
ingestion rate of 1.1 x 10
-4
m
2
/h in
NUREG/CR-5512 building
occupancy scenario (Beyeler et al.
1999 [8]). The effective transfer rate
from NUREG/CR-5512 building
renovation scenario for ingestion of
loose dust to the hands and mouth
during building renovation (Wernig
et al. 1999 [9]).
Air release
fraction
_ 0.357 0.1
For the building occupancy
scenario, it is the mean value from
the parameter distribution.
For the building renovation
scenario, a smaller fraction is
breathable.
Removable
fraction
_ 0.1 NR
d
10% of the contamination is
removable (NUREG/CR-5512
building occupancy scenario
default [10]). The parameter
is not required for the volume
source.
Time for
source
removal or
source lifetime
d 10,000 NR
Value for the building occupancy
scenario is the most likely value
from the parameter distribution.
The parameter is not required for
the volume source.
Source erosion
rate
cm/d NR 4.1 x 10
-4
For the building renovation
scenario, it is assumed that the total
source thickness of 15 cm can be
removed in 100 years of building
life.
a
Parameter values used in the building occupancy scenario.
b
Parameter values used in the building renovation scenario.
c
A dash indicates that the parameter is dimensionless.
d
NR = parameter not required for the analysis.
Table 5. Key parameters used in the building occupancy and building renovation scenarios
[10]

Radioactive Waste

210
4.2 Calculation of the intake rates and time integrated cancer risks
RESRAD is able to calculate lifetime cancer risks resulting from radiation exposure. The
radiation risk can be computed by using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
risk coefficients with the exposure rate (for the external radiation pathways) or the total
intake amount (for internal exposure pathways).
The EPA risk coefficients are estimates of risk per unit of exposure to radiation or intake of
radionuclides that use age- and sex-specific coefficients for individual organs, along with
organ-specific dose conversion factors (DCF). The EPA risk coefficients are characterized as
best-estimate values of the age-averaged lifetime excess cancer incidence risk or cancer
fatality risk per unit of intake or exposure for the radionuclide of concern. Detailed
information on the derivation of EPA risk coefficients and their application can be found in
several EPA documents [11] [12]. The methodology used in the RESRAD code for estimating
cancer risks follows the EPA risk assessment guidance (EPA 1997) and is presented very
briefly in the following section.
Intake rates calculated by the RESRAD code are listed by radionuclide and pathway and
correspond to specific times. Intake rates for inhalation and ingestion pathways are
calculated first for all of the principal radionuclides and then multiplied by the risk
coefficients to estimate cancer risks.
For inhalation and soil ingestion pathways (p = 2 and 8, respectively), the intake rates
(Bq/yr or pCi/yr) can be calculated by using the following Equation (1) [13]:


, , , ,
1
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ,
M
j p j p i j i i j
i
Intake t ETF t SF t S O BRF
=
=
(1)
where:
(Intake)
j,p
(t) = intake rate of radionuclide j at time t (Bq/yr or pCi/yr),
M = the number of initially existent radionuclides,
ETF
j,p
(t) = environmental transport factor for radionuclide j at time t (g/yr),
p = primary index of pathway,
SF
ij
(t) = source factor,
i,j = index of radionuclide (i for the initially existent radionuclide and j for the radionuclides
in the decay chain of radionuclide i),
S
i
(0)= initial soil concentration of radionuclide i at time 0,
The cancer risk at a certain time point from external exposure can be estimated directly by
using the risk coefficients, which are the excess cancer risks per year of exposure per unit of
soil concentration. Because the risk coefficients are derived on the basis of the assumptions
that the contamination source is infinite both in depth and lateral extension and that there is
no cover material on top of the contaminated soil, it is necessary to modify the risk
coefficients with the cover and depth, shape, and area factors to reflect the actual conditions.
Non-continuous exposure throughout a year also requires that the occupancy factor be
considered when calculating the cancer risks.

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

211
Consequently, the RESRAD code uses the environmental transport factor for the external
radiation pathway, along with the risk coefficient and exposure duration, to calculate the
excess cancer risks as seen in Equation (2) [13]:

,1 ,1 , ,1
1
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ,
M
j j ij i i j j
i
Cancerrisk t ETF t SF t S O BRF RC ED
=
=
(2)
where:
RC
j,1
= risk coefficient for external radiation (risk/yr)/(pCi/g),
ED = exposure duration (30 yr).
For the inhalation and ingestion pathways, the cancer risks at a certain time point are
calculated as the products of intake rates, risk coefficients, and exposure duration. Unlike
the intake rates, cancer risks from inhalation of radon and its decay progeny are reported as
total risks that include radon and progeny contributions. Therefore, the radon risks are the
sums of the products of the individual radon or progeny intake rates and their risk
coefficients.
4.3 Modeling results
In a previous study [14] the dose rate and the associated risk related to the clean-up and
decontamination of HC 4 was evaluated. Using the measured doses, the activity of these
sources and the associated risk was estimated, due to the difficulty of the spectroscopy
analysis in order to determine the exact nuclide sources and their activity. The presumed
time for clean-up and decontamination operation is 1 month for each hot cell, and therefore
the estimation was be made for this period. The dose rate and the associated risk related to
the clean-up and decontamination of hot cell no. 4 were calculated using RESRAD Build 3.5
code.
In the model 1 receptor was considered and 3 nuclide sources were taken into account: Co-
60, Cs-137, Sr-90, because these nuclides are most probable in the hot cells. The activity of
these sources was estimated by using Rad Pro 3.26 software models [15], starting from the
measured doses. This was done, due to the lack of a difficult to perform spectroscopy
analysis (inside the hot cell) in order to determine the exact nuclide sources and their
activity.
In Fig. 7, a graphic is presented, showing the evolution of modeled hourly dose rate at the
beginning of the operations, then after 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks of clean-up operations when only
the external pathways are taken into account. At the beginning of clean-up operations, the
calculation revealed an initial equivalent hourly dose rate of 7 mSv (700 mrem). The relative
high dose rate is due to the fact that receptor was modeled without a biological lead
protection. The dose decreases in time towards insignificant values, as the hot cell no. 4 is
cleared and decontaminated [14].
As it can be seen in Fig. 8, in the unlikely scenario in which the exposure pathways are
summed (inhalation, ingestion, immersion, external, deposition and radon) the equivalent
dose rate becomes extremely high. The corresponding cancer risk, presented in Fig. 9, is

Radioactive Waste

212
higher than 100 for this particular scenario. Due to high dose/risks involved, complying
with ALARA principle, the utilization of a robot is proposed, instead of a human operator.

Fig. 7. Dose received by time for summed nuclides and external pathways [14]


Fig. 8. Dose by time for summed nuclides, summed sources and summed pathways [14]

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

213

Fig. 9. Risk by time for summed nuclides, summed source and summed pathways. [14]
Furthermore, the modeling revealed each nuclide contribution to the overall risk. In the
proposed reference scenario, the greatest risk is presented by Sr-90 followed by Cs-137 and
Co-60 (see Figure 10) [14].


Fig. 10. Risk by each nuclide for the reference scenario [14]

Radioactive Waste

214
In Fig. 11, the risk for all the exposure pathways is presented. At the beginning at the
operations, both the risks from aerosols inhalation and ingestion are presented, then only
the risk from ingestion remains high. This is due to the fact that the modeling did not take
into account any breathing equipment for the operator. The risks from external exposure,
deposition, immersion and radon are considerable smaller.






Fig. 11. Risk by time and pathway for summed nuclides and summed sources [14]
5. Remote operation alternative for clean-up and decontamination
operations
Due to high dose/risks involved, complying with the ALARA principle, the utilization of a
robot is proposed instead of a human operator. Using this robot, endowed with a high
versatility arm (Fig. 12), the room will be cleared of remaining objects.

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

215

Fig. 12. Schunk robotic arm (a) [16]
The LWA 3 arm has the following features:
- Standard assembly of servo-electric swivel modules (PRL) and standard connecting
elements to one 7-axis structure and 6 degree of freedom (2x PRL 120, 2x PRL 100, 2x
PRL 80, 2x PRL 60);
- The arm can be configured in a reduced version with 5 modules and 4 degree of
freedom;
- Nominal payload : 5 kg in standard configuration;
- Maximum payload: 10 kg in the reduced version;
- Arm length: 1073 mm (1.07 m) in standard configuration, but may be configured for
longer reach by adding new actuator modules;
- When mounted on the MP-S500 Neobotix mobile platform (with a height of 0,59 m), the
total height of the assembly, arm + platform, is approximately 1,40 m in normal
functioning, but the arm can be folded in order to pass through the hot cell access
tunnels (1.2 m of height);
- The IP protection class against penetration of water and foreign objects is 65. This
represents o good protection and allows the decontamination with water jet, although
the manufactured does not recommend its utilization in extremely dirty environments;
- Completely interconnected cable routing through the hollow shaft integrated into the
PRL-modules;
- Interconnected aluminum structure for weight optimization;
- Open software architecture for controlling the axes;
- Precision: 1 mm;
- Power supply 24 VDC / 20 A;
- Battery operation possible;
- Brushless servomotors
In Fig. 13 below, the Neobotix platform is shown and its dimensions are emphasized.

Radioactive Waste

216

Fig. 13. Neobotix Platfrom [16]
Technical data for the Neobotix MP-S500 Platform:
- Dimensions (mm): 814 x 591 x 333(L x l x H);
- Weight: 80 kg;
- Payload: 80 kg;
- Moving speed: 1.5 m/s;
- Battery capacity: 10 h;
- Sensors: 1 x 2D laser sensor laser and 5x ultrasonic sensor;
- Control: external PC by wireless communication and onboard computer;
- The platform satisfies the maximum width criterion for accessing the hot cells doors of
600 mm, having a lateral dimension of 591 mm.



Fig. 14. Assembley of Schunk robotic arm mounted on the Neobotix Platform
In Fig, 14 above, the robot assembly is shown in standard configuration. Given its technical
specifications and presented characteristcs , the robot will be capable to perform all the
decontamination operations, thus eliminating the need of a human operator.

Clean-Up and Decontamination of Hot-Cells From the IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor

217
6. Conclusion
The presumed time for clean-up and decontamination operation of Hot Cell 4 is 1 month.
The modeling of the dose rate revealed an initial equivalent dose rate of 7 mSv and an
associated cancer risk of 120, due to external exposure only, which subsequently decreases
in time towards insignificant values, as the hot HC 4 is cleared and decontaminated.
Furthermore, in the unlikely scenario that the exposure pathways are summed, the
equivalent dose rate is extremely high. Nevertheless, in the proposed reference scenario the
greatest risk is presented by Sr-90 followed by Cs-137 and Co-60. Due to high dose/risks
involved, complying with ALARA principle, the utilization of a robot is proposed.
7. References
[1] M. Dragusin, et al., IFIN-HH VVR-S Research Reactor Decommissioning Plan, Revision 10,
Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering Horia Hulubei (IFIN-HH), Centre of
Decommissioning and Radioactive Waste Management (CDMR), February 2010;
[2] M. Dragusin, A.O. Pavelescu, I. Iorga, Good Practices In Decommissioning Planning And
Pre-Decommissioning Activities For The Magurele VVR-S Nuclear Research Reactor,
Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection Journal, ISSN 1452-8185, 2011;
[3] IFIN-HH M. Sahagia et al, VVR-S Research Reactor Hot-Cells Radiological Situation Report,
Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering Horia Hulubei (IFIN-HH), Centre of
Radioisotopes Production Report, 2003.
[4] D. Stanga et. al, Dose Rate Measurements in VVR-S Research Reactor Hot Cell No. 4,
Dosimetric Service Procedure AC-PO-DDR-501-01, 24.07.2006;
[5] V. Popa, A.O. Pavelescu, et al., IFIN-HH VVR-S Reactor Hot Cells Clean-up Plan (draft
version), Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering Horia Hulubei (IFIN-HH),
2011
[6] V. Popa et al, Manipulation of the Transferred Wastes from the VVR-S Reactor Radioactive
Wastes Treatment Facility, Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering Horia
Hulubei (IFIN-HH), Operation Procedure AC-PL-DDR-03, Revision 1/June 2006;
[7] V. Popa, Interface Between Department of Decommissioning of the Reactor and Department of
Management of the Radioactive Wastes for the transfer of the radioactive wastes, Institute
of Physics and Nuclear Engineering Horia Hulubei (IFIN-HH) Operating
Procedure PO-DDR-827, Revision 2/October 2007;
[8] C. Yu, A.J. Zielen, J.J. Cheng, D.J. LePoire, E. Gnanapragasam, S. Kamboj, J. Arnish, A.
Wallo III,W.A. Williams, H. Peterson, Users Manual for RESRAD Version 6,
Environmental Assessment Division, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL),
ANL/EAD-4, July 2001;
[9] C. Yu, D.J. LePoire, J.J. Cheng, E. Gnanapragasam, S. Kamboj, J. Arnish, B.M. Biwer, A.J.
Zielen, W.A. Williams, A. Wallo III, H.T. Peterson, Jr., Users Manual for RESRAD-
BUILD Version 3, Environmental Assessment Division, Argonne National
Laboratory (ANL), ANL/EAD/03-1, June 2003;
[10] B.M Biwer, et al., Technical Basis for Calculating Radiation Doses for the Building
Occupancy Scenario Using the Probabilistic RESRAD-BUILD 3.0 Code, NUREG/CR-
6755, ANL/EAD/TM/02-1, prepared by Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne,
Ill., for Division of Systems Analysis and Regulatory Effectiveness, Office of
Nuclear Regulatory Research, 2002;

Radioactive Waste

218
[11] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Exposure Factor Handbook, EPA/600/P-
95/002Fa, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental
Assessment, 1997;
[12] K.F. Eckerman, et al., Cancer Risk Coefficients for Environmental Exposure to Radionuclides,
EPA 402-R-99-001, Federal Guidance Report No. 13, prepared by Oak Ridge
National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, 1999;
[13] S. Kamboj, et al., Probabilistic Dose Analysis Using Parameter Distributions Developed for
RESRAD and RESRAD-BUILD Codes, NUREG/CR-6676, ANL/EAD/TM-89,
prepared by Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill., for Division of Risk
Analysis and Applications, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, May 2000;
[14] A. O. Pavelescu, V. Popa, M. Drguin, Modelling of the Dose Rates and Risks Arising from
Hot-cells Clean-up Activities in the Decommissioning of the VVR-S Research Reactor,
Romanian Reports in Physics, Bucharest, Romania, No. 2/2012 (in press);
[15] R. McGinnis, Rad Pro Calculator 3.26 Software Site Online, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, http://www.radprocalculator.com/Index.aspx, 2011;
[16] Schunk GmbH & Co. Catalog Automation Highlights, LWA3 Lightweight Arm Modular
Robotic Specification Sheet, 2009.
10
Decontamination of
Radioactive Contaminants
Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2

Kwangheon Park
1
, Jinhyun Sung
2
,
Moonsung Koh
3
, Hongdu Kim
4
and Hakwon Kim
5

1
Department of Nuclear Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Yongin,
2
Radiation Engineering Center, Hankook Jungsoo Industries Co. Shiheung,
3
Nuclear Security Center, Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control, Daejeon,
4
Department of Advanced Materials Engineering for Information and Electronics,
Kyung Hee University, Yongin,
5
Department of Chemistry, Kyung Hee University, Yongin,
South Korea
1. Introduction
Nuclear power plants have been used as one of major sources of energy all over the world
[1]. Nuclear energy is intrinsically clean in environmental viewpoints since it is a highly-
concentrated energy source generating much less amount of wastes compared to chemical
energy sources such as coals and oils. However, nuclear energy produces inevitable
dangerous radioactive wastes. Volume reduction of radioactive wastes is desirable, and
additionally should be done in environmentally favorable ways. We introduce CO
2
as a
cleaning solvent for the decontamination of radioactive contaminants. The subjects for
decontamination are diverse clothes, parts, equipments, tools, solid/liquid wastes, and
soil. Main target elements are Co, Sr, Cs, Tc and actinides with chemical forms of metal
spikes, oxides, hydroxides and metallic salts [2,3].
Decontamination technology should assist in minimizing waste volume by concentrating
the radioactivity of the wastes. However, generation of secondary radioactive waste
during decontamination processes produces another problem. If we apply carbon dioxide
as a cleaning medium, the secondary waste can be minimized because of the ease of
CO
2
recycle (simply depressurize and pressurize again). This is why CO
2
is gaining
attention as an alternative solvent for decontamination of radioactive contaminants.
However, CO
2
is non-polar, and allows very limited solubility of polar materials such as
metallic ions. To make it possible to dissolve polar and ionic materials in CO
2
, we
developed water-in-CO
2
micro- and macroemulsions. Water-in-CO
2
microemulsion can
dissolve most of the polar and ionic substances as well as non-polar substances because
aqueous and organic phases can be dispersed in CO
2
uniformly at the given sufficient
stabilization of the interface.

Radioactive Waste

220
This chapter shows the surface decontamination of radioactive specimens based on CO
2

micro- and macroemulsions. Since most radioactive contaminants contain a variety of
metal oxides or metal salts, it is needed that acid solution instead of water be added to the
emulsions. We briefly reviewed past works regarding the microemulsion of water in CO
2

and its applications. Then, the formation regions of microemulsions with small amounts
of water (or acid solution) were mentioned. And, ultrasound effects on the stability of
micro- and macroemulsions were explained. Then, we showed the applications of micro-
and macroemulsions of acid in CO
2
in the dissolution test of Cu-coated parts (nuts) and
real contaminated radioactive samples. And the applicability of this technique was
discussed.
2. Reviews on the application of micro- and macroemulsions in CO
2

In 1990s, much experimentation attempted to identify surfactants capable of forming water
in liquid/supercritical CO
2
microemulsions. K. A. Consani and R. D. Smith [4] reported that
the solubilities of over 130 surfactants were tested in supercritical CO
2
at 50
o
C and pressures
of 100~500 bar. Consequently, most ionic surfactants (e.g., salts, acids, quaternary
ammonium compounds and alkyl phosphate salts) were found to be relatively insoluble in
CO
2
. This is mainly due to the fact that the majority of the amphiphiles evaluated were
found to have minimal solubility in CO
2
. However, nonionic surfactants with suitable
hydrocarbon chain length appeared to be able to exhibit reasonable solubility in liquid/
supercritical CO
2
at moderate pressure.
On the other hand, owing to favorable solubility parameters, certain fluorocarbons and to a
lesser extent silicon, a few surfactants dissolve in CO
2
. Based on the fact that fluorocarbons
and CO
2
are compatible, Beckmans group designed the first effective fluoro-surfactants for
CO
2
[5]. Next, the fluorinated surfactants variously synthesized by Johnston [6-10] and
Desimone [10, 11] seem to have high solubility in supercritical CO
2
.
A micelle is an aggregation (or cluster) of surfactant molecules. The molecule must have a
polar head and a non-polar hydrocarbon chain tail. When this type of molecule is added
to water, the non-polar tails of the molecules clump into the center of a ball like structure
called a micelle, because they are hydrophobic. In a reverse micelle, the polar groups of the
surfactants are concentrated in the interior and the lipophilic groups extend towards and
into the non-polar solvent (Fig. 1). At certain water-to-surfactant ratios (W), water will be
incorporated into the core of the micelle, generating a nano-droplet of water in a CO
2

solution (i.e., microemulsion). These droplets are extremely small, ranging from 5 to 100 nm
in diameter. The nano-sized water droplet is carried to surfaces by the supercritical CO
2
,
allowing extraction of metals in a way not possible with liquid/ supercritical CO
2
only.
Therefore, the reverse micelle may be used as an environmentally benign solvent in
synthesis of nanometer-sized metal catalysts, cleaning of precision parts and extraction of
polar species. Generally, microemulsions are clear, thermodynamically stable solutions.
The macroemulsions are a dispersion of droplets of one liquid in another with which it is
incompletely miscible. As shown in Fig 2, macroemulsions of droplets of an organic liquid (a
CO
2
like oil) in an aqueous solution are indicated by the symbol CO
2
-in-water (C/W) and
macroemulsions of aqueous droplets in an organic liquid as water-in-CO
2
(W/C). In
macroemulsions the droplets exceed 0.1m [12]. The relative sizes are shown in detail in Fig. 3.

Decontamination of Radioactive Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2


221


Fig. 1. Structure of reverse micelles and formation of microemulsions in CO
2.

Microemulsions are thermodynamically stable, and typically consist of dispersed phase
droplets of 5 to 100 nm in diameter. In contrast to microemulsions, macroemulsions are
thermodynamically unstable, often requiring considerable energy input to induce their
formation, and existence. Furthermore, macroemulsions may be formed with higher
interfacial tensions between water and oil (or CO
2
) than in the case of microemulsions, and
thus have lower values of surfactant adsorption at the interface. Therefore, emulsions may
be formed for a wide range of surfactant concentrations [13].
There is increasing interest in using reverse micelle and microemulsions for many
applications such as solutions for enhanced oil recovery, for the separation of proteins from
aqueous solutions, as media for catalytic or enzymatic reactions, and as mobile phases in
chromatographic separations.

Radioactive Waste

222


Fig. 2. Structures of C/W and W/C emulsions in CO
2
.

Fig. 3. Size ranges of micro- and macroemulsions [12].
In 1987, Fulton and co-workers reported the first observations of microemulsions in
supercritical fluid [14]. The formation of reverse micelles and water-in-oil (W/O)
microemulsions in supercritical fluids using the surfactant sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl)
sulfosuccinate (AOT). Fluids that are supercritical at moderate temperatures and pressures
include ethane (T
C
=32.4
o
C, P
C
=34.8bar), propane (T
C
=97
o
C, P
C
=43.3bar), and xenon

Decontamination of Radioactive Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2


223
(T
C
=16.6
o
C, P
C
=58.4bar) [14-16]. Also, the properties of microemulsions such as structure,
microemulsion size, and the solvent environment of AOT were measured by using dynamic
light scattering, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and view cell determinations of phase
behavior [17,18].
Johnston and co-workers initially studied the phase behavior of hydrophilic substances
such as proteins and amino acids and described this as microemulsions with AOT. They
reported large effects on the droplet size and phase behavior of microemulsions in
compressible liquids with changes in four principal variables such as pressure,
temperature, salinity, and molecular volume of the alkane solvent [19-21]. Later, to favor
bending of the interface around water, and to prevent liquid crystal formation, hybrid
surfactant with a fluorocarbon and hydrocarbon tail, C7F15CH(C7H15)OSO3
-
Na
+
, was newly
synthesized. The formation of microemulsions with a fluorocarbon-hydrocarbon hybrid
surfactant must have been due primarily to the presence of the fluorocarbon tail, given
the lack of success of many nonfluorinated surfactants [22]. In 1996, his group developed
a new fluoroether surfactant, ammonium carboxylic perfluoropolyether (PFPE), to form
stable reverse micelles in supercritical CO
2
[23]. The water cores within these
microemulsions were probed by elegant techniques including X-band electron
paramagnetic resonance (EPR), time-resolved fluorescence depolarization [24], UV-VIS
spectroscopy, and FTIR [25].
Water-in-CO
2
macroemulsions may be substituted for toxic organic solvents in chemical
processing. Macroemulsions have been used for phase-transfer reactions between CO
2
-
soluble substrates and hydrophilic nucleophiles. Further studies of the mechanism of
emulsion stabilization are needed for the rational design of surfactants for this newly
emerging field. However, the formation of macroemulsions in CO
2
has been challenging
due to its weak van der Waals forces, as reflected by its low polarizability per unit volume.
To date, a majority of the investigation into the formation of macroemulsions in CO
2
has
focused on the development of surfactants. Johnston found that water-in-supercritical CO
2

(W/C) emulsions were formed with a variety of surfactants such as fluorinated [26, 27],
block copolymer [28-30], nonionic polymer [31], and hydrocarbon [32].
Micro- and macroemulsions have been used to solubilize hydrophilic substances in CO
2

(e.g., salts, water soluble catalysts, metal nano-particles, electroplating, metal ions,
electroactive probes, proteins, and enzymes). McCleskey [33, 34] demonstrated the
extraction of metal ions from a variety of solid substrates using microemulsions in
supercritical CO
2
. Microemulsions are especially advantageous for the extraction of metals,
because the amount of water required is only proportional to the amount of metal to be
extracted, not to the amount of waste to be cleaned. Liu [35] also used microemulsions with
nonionic surfactant (X-100) to extract copper ions. More than 99% of the copper is extracted
from filter paper surface, and 81% of the used surfactant was recovered and generated.
Water-in-microemulsions were presented as a new strategy for promising method of metal
ion extraction.
Sawada applied microemulsions for dyeing fiber in supercritical CO
2
. Pentanethylene glycol
n-octyl ether and a co-surfactant were used for forming the microemulsions [36]. Co-
surfactants generally make the chemical process complicated. Sawada also used one type of
surfactant such as PFPE to make microemulsions in CO
2
[37].

Radioactive Waste

224
Yonker [38] has demonstrated membrane separations with reverse micelles in near- and
supercritical fluid solvents. Reverse micelles were formed and used for the separation of polar,
water-soluble macromolecules in solvents. This technique directly extends the capabilities of
membrane separations in supercritical fluids to include both non-polar and polar molecules.
Wai [39] reported that metal nano-particles were synthesized within the core of
microemulsion droplets. Microemulsions containing AgNO
3
were stabilized by a mixture of
AOT and PFPE-PO
4
, acting as surfactant and co-surfactant, respectively. On addition of a
reducing agent to the microemulsion system, silver particles were formed inside the
emulsion droplets and the particle dimensions were controlled by the size of the water
cores. The metal nano-particles formed in this way can be used as in situ catalysts for
chemical reactions in the fluid phase, for example the hydrogenation of olefins [40]. Also,
new nanomaterials such as CdS and ZnS [41] were obtained using the mixture of two
microemulsions containing different metal ions in their micelle water cores.
Sone [42-44] found that electroplating using nickel could be performed in a macroemulsion
of supercritical CO
2
with nonionic or anionic surfactants. Generally, conventional wet
plating methods produce lots of liquid toxic waste, which need expensive waste treatment
systems. And the products usually have surface defects such as pinholes and cracks by
hydrogenation. By comparison, better quality nickel films have been produced by
electroplating in macroemulsion in supercritical CO
2
. The electroplated film has a good and
uniform with a smaller nano-grain size, and a significantly higher Vickers hardness.
Our group has also found that Ni electroplating could be carried out in the emulsion of
supercritical CO
2
formed by ultrasound. Emulsion of nickel plating solution in CO
2
was
formed by the agitation from an ultrasonic horn. Electroplating of Ni on the iron sheet was
successfully made. The coated surface was very uniform without any pinholes or cracks due
to hydrogenation. Only 5-10% of electroplating solution was needed for Ni plating
compared to general wet plating. The used electroplating solution could be reused after a
recovery process [45].
3. Experimental section
3.1 Chemicals and specimens
We selected the two types of surfactants. One is sodium bis(2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5-octafluoro-1-
pentyl)-2-sulfosuccinate (fluorinated-AOT), a fluorinated ionic surfactant synthesized by
our group [41]. The other is the ethoxylated nonyl phenol series (NP-series), a non-ionic
surfactant which is commercially available. NP-series was supplied by Nicca Korea
Company in Korea. The surfactants were NP-2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 16. Nitric acid and organic
solvents (HPLC grade) were obtained from Ducksan Pure Chemical Co. Ltd. Inorganic acids
such as oxalic and citric acids were obtained from Aldrich Chemical Co.
Cu-coated parts (nuts) plated by electroplating were prepared. The conditions for
electroplating were as follows; 2.5 mA/dm
2
for 7minutes on a nut (surface area: 4.40.5 cm
2
)
under Cu electroplating solution. Real radioactive parts (bolts, nuts, connectors),
contaminated by radioactive nuclides (such as Co-60, Cs-137, Mn-54, etc), were obtained
from Unit 1 of the Wolsung and Unit 2 of the Kori Nuclear Power Plants during overhaul
periods.

Decontamination of Radioactive Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2


225
3.2 Apparatuses for measurements
A variable volume cell (from 4.2mL to 22.4mL, Hanwoul Eng.) was used to measure the
solubility of a subject in a high pressure media. The known amounts of a surfactant was
placed into the cell, and heated to a goal temperature. CO
2
was introduced by a syringe
pump (260D, ISCO, USA). The solubility or cloud point could be determined by a direct
visual observation through sapphire windows placed on both sides. The deviation of
temperature was 0.5
o
C and that of pressure was 1bar.
Two agitation methods were used to form a stable microemulsion stirring by a magnetic bar
and direct agitation by an ultrasonic horn. Stirring agitation was obtained by putting a
magnetic bar into the reactor cell which was located on a magnetic rotator. We made a high-
pressure cell containing an ultrasonic horn that was connected to a sonar vibrator outside (Fig.
4). The frequency of the horn was 20kHz. The amount of energy dissipation by the horn inside
the cell is not clearly known, however, we guess approximately 10~20 W, which is the energy
efficiency of 5~10 % of 200W of the total energy consumption of the sonar [46, 47].
The decontamination efficiency of actual radioactive contaminated parts was analyzed by
the gamma-spectrum using a Ge-detector (HPGE P-type, EURISYS, France).

Fig. 4. Decontamination apparatus with ultrasound. (1)CO
2
cylinder, (2)syringe pump,
(3)high pressure cell (87mL), (4)ultrasonic horn, (5)ultrasonic power supply, (6)oven,
(7)collecting vial.
4. Results and discussion
4.1 Microemulsion formation in supercritical CO
2

The basic structure of NP-series is shown in Fig. 5. It has both a hydrophilic and a CO
2
-philic
group. The length of the hydrophilic functional group becomes longer as n value increases,
and thereby polar solubility increases. The NP-series surfactants are commercially available

Radioactive Waste

226
with economic price. Since it is electrically neutral, it is less sensitive to the presence of
electrolyte, and less affected by pH value. Solubilities of NP-series surfactants in
supercritical CO
2
were measured using the solubility apparatus, and the results are shown
in Fig. 6. Due to the CO
2
-philic property of the alkyl chain, NP-series are quite soluble in
CO
2
. The ethylene oxide chain is a hydrophilic functional group, and as its length increases,
solubility within CO
2
becomes lower. For example, 1.010
-3
mol fraction of NP-2 was clearly
dissolved at (or above) 95bar. On the contrary, 300 bar or higher pressure was needed to
dissolve the same mol fraction of NP-16. From the solubility measurements of surfactants,
we concluded that NP-series surfactants were soluble to CO
2
enough to form a
microemulsion in CO
2
.


Fig. 5. Basic structure of the NP-series.

2.0x10
-4
4.0x10
-4
6.0x10
-4
8.0x10
-4
1.0x10
-3
1.2x10
-3
90
120
150
180
210
240
270
300
330
NP-2
NP-3
NP-16
NP-10
NP-8
NP-6
NP-4
NP-Series, 40
o
C
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
b
a
r
)
Mole Fraction

Fig. 6. Solubilities of the NP-series in supercritical CO
2
.


Decontamination of Radioactive Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2


227
The formation pressures of microemulsions of water in supercritical CO
2
by NP-series
surfactants are shown in Fig. 7. The W value for each surfactant was taken as 20, and
temperature was maintained at 40
o
C. The formation pressures were measured to be in the
order of NP- 4 > 6 > 3 > 2 > 16 from the lowest. The stability of a microemulsion depends on
the stability of interface between water and CO
2
. The stability of the interface depends on
the types of surfactants. Microscopically speaking, the water cores are surrounded by the
surfactants and the surfactants should make the water cores stable to be a reverse-micelle.
Both hydrophilic and CO
2
-philic parts of the surfactant should be mechanically balanced to
maintain stable water cores in CO
2
matrix. NP-4 seems to make mechanical equilibrium
easily in the interface between the water droplets and the surrounding CO
2
. We chose NP-4
as an optimal surfactant for the microemulsion formation.
The formation pressures of a microemulsion with different W values were also measured
using NP-4. The cloud points at different W values are shown in Fig. 8. In each case, a
greater pressure is required to make a microemulsion as the concentration of surfactants
(and water the amount of which was set by W value) increases in CO
2
. In other words, a
greater pressure is required to dissolve a large amount of water at a given mole fraction of
surfactants.



2.0x10
-4
4.0x10
-4
6.0x10
-4
8.0x10
-4
1.0x10
-3
90
120
150
180
210
240
270
300
330
360
390
NP-3+ H
2
O
NP-2+ H
2
O
NP-16+ H
2
O
NP-6 + H
2
O
NP-4 + H
2
O
W=20, T=40
o
C
Mole fraction
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
b
a
r
)

Fig. 7. Formation regions of water-in-CO
2
microemulsions with the NP-series.

Radioactive Waste

228
0.0
5.0x10
-4
1.0x10
-3
1.5x10
-3
2.0x10
-3
2.5x10
-3
3.0x10
-3
100
150
200
250
300
350
W=22
Mole fraction
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
b
a
r
)
W=25
W=5
W=20
W=15
W=10

Fig. 8. Formation regions of water in supercritical CO
2
microemulsions with the NP-4 mole
fraction in CO
2
. NP-4:20mM, temperature:40
o
C.
Acid microemulsions in supercritical CO
2
were made and their formation pressures were
measured using ionic (F-AOT) and non-ionic (NP-4) surfactants. The results are shown in Fig.9
and Fig.10, respectively. The formation pressure of a microemulsion by F-AOT was higher
than its solubility pressure line (Fig.9). The formation pressure of the microemulsion of water
in CO
2
by F-AOT increased continuously as the mol fraction of surfactant (and also that of
water) increased. It seemed that higher pressure should be applied to stabilize the increased
amount of aqueous droplets in CO
2
matrix. However, in the case of the microemulsion of acid,
we could not obtain a microemulsion state when the mol fraction of surfactants exceeded a
certain critical value (~ 10
-2
of mol fraction in the case of 3M nitric acid). The acid cores in a
microemulsion seemed unstable above this critical mol fraction. The exchange reaction of Na
in the hydrophilic head with protons in the acid cores might be a reason for the destabilization.
On the contrary, the NP-4 maintained the stability of microemulsions of acid cores with the
increase of mol fraction of surfactant and acid (Fig.10). The formation pressure of acid
microemulsion in CO
2
was measured to be higher than that of water in CO
2
. It is believed
that the non-ionic surfactant, NP-4 forms a stable microemulsion of acidic solution in CO
2

enough to be used in decontamination.
Organic acids are more commonly used in surface treatment of metals. The formation
pressures of the microemulsion containing oxalic and citric acids by NP-4 were measured
respectively. As shown in Fig. 11, stable microemulsions of organic acid were possible with
non-ionic surfactant, NP-4. The formation pressure of a microemulsion containing citric acid
in the core turned out to be lower than that of oxalic acid. When the two acids were mixed
together, the formation pressure increased. Organic acids needed higher pressure to form
microemulsions in CO
2
than inorganic acid.

Decontamination of Radioactive Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2


229
4.0x10
-3
8.0x10
-3
1.2x10
-2
1.6x10
-2
2.0x10
-2
100
150
200
250
300
350
[W = 18] Sc-CO
2
(40
o
C)
F-AOT + HNO
3
(3M)
F-AOT + H
2
O
F-AOT

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
b
a
r
)
Surfactant / M

Fig. 9. Formation regions of microemulsions with F-AOT as acidity increases.
2.0x10
-4
4.0x10
-4
6.0x10
-4
8.0x10
-4
1.0x10
-3
1.2x10
-3
1.4x10
-3
80
120
160
200
240
280
320
360
[W=18]
NP-4
NP-4 + H
2
O
NP-4 + HNO
3
(3M)
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
b
a
r
)
Sc-CO
2
(40
o
C)
Mole fraction

Fig. 10. Formation regions of microemulsions of acid cores and those of water cores with NP-4.

Radioactive Waste

230
2.8x10
-4
3.5x10
-4
4.2x10
-4
4.9x10
-4
5.6x10
-4
6.3x10
-4
7.0x10
-4
100
150
200
250
300
350
W=20, T=40
o
C
Oxalic Acid(5 wt%)
+Citric Acid(5 wt%)
Oxalic Acid(5 wt%)
Citric Acid(5 wt%)
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
b
a
r
)
Mole fraction

Fig. 11. Formation regions of microemulsions with organic acids (citric acid, oxalic acid).
300 350 400 450 500 550 600
0.00
0.25
0.50
0.75
1.00
W=20, T=40
o
C
420 nm
70 bar
160 bar
180 bar
A
b
s
o
r
b
a
n
c
e

(
A
.
U
.
)
Wavelength / nm

Fig. 12. UV-VIS spectrum of methyl orange in supercritical CO
2
microemulsions with NP-4.

Decontamination of Radioactive Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2


231
The formation of a microemulsion can be checked by the absorption spectrum of a UV-VIS
spectrometer. For a clear observation, methyl orange was injected into the cell. We
measured the variation of the UV-VIS spectrum with the increase of CO
2
pressure (Fig.12).
A clear peak (420nm) of methyl orange appeared at the pressure of 160bar at 40
o
C. And, the
fact of the peak growth with applied CO
2
pressure indicated that more stabilized
microemulsion was formed under the higher pressure.
4.2 Enhanced stabilization of micro- and macroemulsions by ultrasound
Two types of agitating methods a stirrer and an ultrasound horn were used for
comparing the stability of microemulsions. In the stirrer system, it takes about 20 minutes to
form a stable microemulsion. The dispersed behavior of inner contents (nitric acid,
surfactant and CO
2
) and a magnetic bar were observed through a view cell. We
photographed the formation process with time, as shown in Fig.13.


Fig. 13. Microemulsions formation using a stirrer (400rpm) with time at 250bar and 40
o
C
(to form the microemulsions, nitric acid (1M, 24.5L) and surfactant (NP-4, 24.8L) were
used inside the pressure cell (10mL)).


Fig. 14. Microemulsions formation using the ultrasound over time at 220bar and 40
o
C.
(to form the microemulsions, nitric acid (1M, 214L) and surfactant (NP-4, 216L) were used
inside a pressure cell (87mL)).

Radioactive Waste

232
In the ultrasound system, a microemulsion was formed in about 10 minutes as shown in Fig.
14. As seen in the photos, nitric acid was partially dissolved at 3 min. and a cloud state was
seen at 7 min. And finally a clear microemulsion appeared after 10 min. Microemulsions are
thermodynamically stable and their dispersed phase is at the nano-scale level. The
ultrasound horn applied intense dispersing, stirring and emulsifying effects to the fluid [48],
which provide additional power to mix water (or acid) with CO
2
. All of these effects from
the ultrasound horn enhance the stabilization of emulsion.
We conducted experiments about the formation of macroemulsions using an ultrasonic
horn. The formation of macroemulsion can be observed visually through the sapphire
windows of the high pressure vessel. After inserting the aqueous solution (10% of vessel
volume, 5mL) and the surfactant (6v/o of the aqueous solution, 900L) into the vessel
(50mL), it was heated to 55
o
C and pressurized to 120bar by CO
2
. These mixtures existed in a
completely separated state initially (Fig.15(a)). Then localized macroemulsions were formed
after 10 seconds after agitation (Fig.15(b)), and the macroemulsion was uniformly formed in
total in less than 30 seconds (Fig.15(c)). The macroemulsion existed as long as the ultrasound
horn agitated the fluid in the cell. After the shut-down of power, the macroemulsion
returned back to the initial state, i.e., separated mixtures.


Fig. 15. Photos of emulsion forming processes by ultrasound. (a)state not subjected to
ultrasound, (b)state in which an emulsion was partially formed after agitation for 10
seconds, (c)state in which an emulsion was uniformly formed after generation of ultrasound
for 30 seconds.
4.3 Decontamination using Micro- and Macroemulsions in CO
2

4.3.1 Dissolution test of Cu from Cu-coated substitute
As a mock-up test for surface decontamination of radioactive components, Cu-coated nuts
were prepared. We put a Cu-coated nut into the reactor cell and let the nut contacted the
acid-containing microemulsion. The Cu coating was removed under the microemulsions of
acids (1M or 6M-HNO
3
) in CO
2
. After one hour of the removal process, most of the Cu-
coating was removed and dissolved into the microemulsions. Fig. 16 shows the specimen
before and after the experiments. Surface damages of the specimens (corrosion) were
observed. We examined the removed surface via an optical microscope to see the surface
damage by concentrated nitric acid (Fig. 17). 1M of HNO
3
removed almost all of the Cu-

Decontamination of Radioactive Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2


233
coating with small surface damage. However, 6M of HNO
3
not only removed the Cu-
coating but also damaged heavily some portions of the surface. Anyway, with a very small
amount of acid in the microemulsion, we could dissolve and remove the Cu-coating of the
specimens very effectively.

Fig. 16. The photos of specimen before and after acid in Supercritical CO
2
microemulsion
treatment.


Fig. 17. Microscopic images of a Cu-plated nut using the acid-in-CO
2
microemulsions.

Radioactive Waste

234
4.3.2 Decontamination of radioactive components
We obtained radioactive components (bolts, nuts, small pieces of pipes) from nuclear power
plants (Wolsung and Kori) in Korea. The radioactivity of the obtained radioactive components
were measured by a Ge detector, and classified. We selected radioactive specimens based on the
level of contamination that should be mild enough to handle in the laboratory, and high enough
to measure the decontamination efficiency. The selected specimens are shown in Fig.18.
For the purpose of comparison, three different decontamination methods were tried
cleaning by a conventional acid solution, microemulsion, and macroemulsion. In the
conventional acid cleaning, the specimens were placed into a nitric acid (250mL, 0.1M) at
50
o
C for an hour with stirring by a magnetic bar. And additional experiments of
decontamination by acid solution were done under ultrasonic agitation. In the case of
microemulsion cleaning, the radioactive samples were decontaminated for about an hour in
the microemulsions with a very small amount (~30L) of nitric acid (1M, 6M) in
supercritical CO
2
at 60
o
C. Agitations by magnetic-bar stirring and by ultrasonic-horn
vibration were done separately for comparison purposes.
A macroemulsion was made by ultrasonic horn agitation. In the reactor cell, 10% of total
volume was filled by acid (0.1M or 5% oxalic acid) and the rest volume was by pressurized
CO
2
. The reactor was maintained at the temperature of 50
o
C and pressure of 120bar during
the cleaning process. The cleaning process lasted for an hour.
We measured the radioactivity of the specimen before and after the experiment,
respectively; then the cleaning efficiency was calculated by the comparison of the activities
of these two. A few of gamma radiation peaks (Co-60, Sb-125, Mn-54, Zr-95) were observed
by a Ge-detector from the specimens we used. The strongest peaks were from Co-60, and we
set the decontamination efficiency by the comparison of Co-60 activities. The uncertainty of
gamma radiation detection using the Ge-detector was about 5%. Based on this uncertainty,
we assume that 10% be the uncertainly limit in the value of decontamination efficiency.
The results of decontamination experiments using radioactive specimens are shown in Table 1.
The conventional cleaning using 0.1M nitric acid with a stirrer gave the value of about 50% of
decontamination efficiency. When ultrasonic agitation was applied, the efficiency increased up
to 78%. Additional cleaning (2
nd
time) barely increased the efficiency (up to 84%). This might
be the limit of cleaning efficiency when we used 0.1M nitric acid as a cleaning solution.
The microemulsion with nitric acid clearly worked well in decontamination of radioactive metal
components. The volume fraction of acid used in the microemulsion cleaning was only 0.25%,
and the size of the reactor cell was about 1/20 compared to the container used in the
conventional acid cleaning. The decontamination efficiency was about 63% if 0.1M nitric acid was
used. When strong nitric acids were used, the decontamination efficiency increased up to 100%.
A macroemulsion containing acid was also effective in decontamination of radioactive
specimens. Due to strong agitation by an ultrasonic horn, the decontamination efficiency
went to up to 89% when 0.1M nitric acid was used. Interestingly, oxalic acid (5%) was very
effective in decontamination of metallic parts (100% elimination).
The cleaning methods using microemulsion and macroemulsion seemed very effective in
decontamination of metallic parts contaminated on the surface. The amounts of acid used in
these cleaning methods were very small (0.25%~10% in volume). Because it contains the
removed radioactive contaminants, the aqueous acid used in cleaning becomes a secondary

Decontamination of Radioactive Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2


235
waste. We can reduce the amount of the secondary waste revolutionarily if micro- or
macroemulsion of acid in CO
2
is used in decontamination.

Fig. 18. Radioactive contaminants supplied from Unit 1 of the Wolsung and Unit 2 of the
Kori Nuclear Power Plants during overhaul periods.

Decontamination
methods
Acid types
Agitation
methods
Acid in
vol %
Efficiency / %
1
st
2
nd

Conventional acid
cleaning
0.1M HNO3
Stirrer
100%
5010 -
Ultrasound 7810 8410
Supercritical CO2
microemulsions
0.1M HNO3 Stirrer
0.25%
635 -
1M HNO3
Ultrasound
8710
6M HNO3 100 10 -
Supercritical CO2
macroemulsions
0.1M HNO3 Ultrasound
10%
8910 -
Oxalic Acid (5%) Ultrasound 10010 -
Table 1. The decontamination efficiencies of radioactive components (nut, bolt, etc) with
respect to different cleaning methods.
5. Conclusion
New surface decontamination techniques using acid-CO
2
micro- and macroemulsions were
developed to decontaminate radioactive components. NP-series, commercially available
surfactants, were applied to form the micro- and macroemulsions in supercritical CO
2
. We
found that micro- and macroemulsion could be formed if nonionic surfactants (NP-series)
were used. And the formation points were measured with respect to the concentrations of
surfactants in CO
2
. The results showed that the solubility of surfactant increased gradually
as the hydrophilic group became shorter. In the formation of the microemulsion with water,
it was confirmed that the NP-4 surfactant formed the most stable microemulsion, because

Radioactive Waste

236
the hydrophilic and the CO
2
-philic parts of the surfactant were mechanically well balanced
to maintain stable water cores in CO
2
matrix.
An ultrasonic horn was used to enhance the formation of micro- and macroemulsions. The
agitation by an ultrasound horn was superior to that by a stirrer in obtaining a stable
microemulsion. When the ultrasound was used, the microemulsion was formed quickly
even at the milder condition.
We tested Cu-coated parts to see whether the microemulsion containing nitric acid could
remove the surface metal layer. Almost all of the Cu-coating was removed under the
microemulsion of 1M HNO
3
in CO
2
. Both microemulsion and macroemulsion containing
nitric acid clearly worked well in decontamination of radioactive metallic parts. The
decontamination efficiency increased as the acidity of nitric acid increased. And oxalic acid
in macroemulsion was very effective in the surface decontamination of metallic parts. The
cleaning methods of micro- and macroemulsion seemed better in decontamination of
metallic parts than conventional cleaning. Moreover, these methods produce very small
amount of secondary wastes.
6. References
[1] International Atomic Energy Agency, Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates
for the Period up to 2020 July 2002, IAEA-RDS-1/22, Vienna, (2002).
[2] Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Decontamination and Decommissioning
Technology Development of Nuclear Facilities, KAERI/RR-798/88, (1988)
[3] Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Waste Recycling
Technology Development, KAERI/RR-1830/97, (1997)
[4] K. A. Consani and R. D. Smith, Observations on the Solubility of Surfactants and Related
Molecules in Carbon Dioxide at 50
o
C, J. of Supercritical Fluids, 3 (1990) 51.
[5] T. A. Hoefling, R. M. Enick, and E. J. Beckman, Microemulsions in Near-critical and
Supercritical CO
2
, Journal of Physical Chemistry, 95 (1991) 7127.
[6] K. Harrison, J. Goveas, and K. P. Johnston, Water-in-Carbon Dioxide Microemulsions
with a Fluorocarbon-Hydrocarbon Hybrid Surfactant, Langmuir, 10 (1994) 3536.
[7] M. J. Clarke, K. L. Harrison, K. P. Johnston, and S. M. Howdle, Water in Supercritical
Carbon Dioxide Microemulsions: Spectroscopic Investigation of a New Environment
for Aqueous Inorganic Chemistry, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 119 (1997) 6399.
[8] M. P. Heitz, C. Carlier, J. deGrazia, K. L. Harrison, K. P. Johnston, T. W. Randolph, and
F. V. Bright, Water Core Within Perfluoropolyether-based Microemulsions
Formed in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide, J. Phys. Chem. B, 101 (1997) 6707.
[9] C. T. Lee, Jr., P. A. Psathas, K. J. Ziegler, K. P. Johnston, H. J. Dai, H. D. Cochran, Y. B.
Melnichenko, and G. D. Wignall, Formation of Water-in-Carbon Dioxide
Microemulsions with a Cationic Surfactant: a Small-Angle Neutron Scattering
Study, J. Phys. Chem. B, 104 (2000) 11094.
[10] J. S. Keiper, R. Simhan, and J. M. DeSimone, New Phosphate Fluorosurfactants for
Carbon Dioxide, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 124 (2002) 9.
[11] J. L. Kendall, D. A. Canelas, J. L. Young, and J. M. DeSimone, Polymerizations in
Supercritical Carbon Dioxide, Chem. Rev., 99 (1999) 543.
[12] K. Shinoda and S. Friberg, Emulsions and Solubilization, John Wiley & Sons, (1986) 3.
[13] C. T. Lee, Jr., P. A. Psathas, and K. P. Johnston, Water-in-Carbon Dioxide Emulsions:
Formation and Stability, Langmuir, 15 (1999) 6781.

Decontamination of Radioactive Contaminants Using Liquid and Supercritical CO
2


237
[14] R. W. Gale, J. L. Fulton, and R. D. Smith, Organized Molecular Assemblies in the Gas
Phase: Reverse Micelles and Microemulsions in Supercritical Fluids, J. Am. Chem.
Soc, 109 (1987) 920.
[15] R. W. Gale, J. L. Fulton, and R. D. Smith, Reverse Micelle Supercritical Fluid
Chromatography, Anal. Chem., 59 (1987) 1977.
[16] J. L. Fulton and R. D. Smith, Reverse Micelle and Microemulsion Phases in
Supercritical Fluids, J. Phys. Chem., 92 (1988) 2903.
[17] J. L. Fulton, J. P. Blitz, J. M. Ti ngey, and R. D. Smith, Reverse Micelle and
Microemulsion Phases in Supercritical Xenon and Ethane: Light Scattering and
Spectroscopic Probe Studies, J. Phys. Chem., 93 (1989) 4198.
[18] J. L. Fulton, D. M. Pfund, J. M. DeSimone, and M. Capel, Aggregation of Amphiphilic
Molecules in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide: A Small Angle X-ray Scattering Study,
Langmuir, 11 (1995) 4241.
[19] R. M. Lemert, R. A. Fuller, and K. P. Johnston, Reverse Micelles in Supercritical Fluids.
3. Amino Acid Solubilization in Ethane and Propane, J. Phys. Chem., 94 (1990) 6021.
[20] G. J. McFann and K. P. Johnston, Phase Behavior of AOT Microemulsions in
Compressible Liquids, J. Phys. Chem., 95 (1991) 4889.
[21] D. G. Peck and K. P. Johnston, Theory of the Pressure Effect on the Curvature and
Phase Behavior of AOT/Propane/Brine Water-in-Oil Microemulsions, J. Phys.
Chem., 95 (1991) 9549.
[22] K. Harrison, J. Goveas, and K. P. Johnston, Water-in-Carbon Dioxide Microemulsions
with a Fluorocarbon-Hydrocarbon Hybrid Surfactant, Langmuir, 10 (1994) 3536.
[23] K. P. Johnston, K. L. Harrison, M. J. Clarke, S. M. Howdle, M. P. Heitz, F. V. Brigth, C.
Carlier, and T. W. Randolph, Water-in-Carbon Dioxide Microemulsions: An
Environment for Hydrophiles Including Proteins, Science, 271 (1996) 624.
[24] M. P. Heitz, C. Carlier, J. deGrazia, K. L. Harrison, K. P. Johnston, T. W. Randolph, and
F. V. Bright, Water Core within Perfluoropolyether-Based Microemulsions
Formed in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide, J. Phys. Chem. B, 101 (1997) 6707.
[25] M. J. Clarke, K. L. Harrison, K. P. Johnston, and S. M. Howdle, Water in Supercritical
Carbon Dioxide Microemulsion: Spectroscopic Investigation of a New Environment
for Aqueous Inorganic Chemistry, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 119 (1997) 6399.
[26] C. T. Lee, Jr., P. A. Psathas, K. P. Johnston, J. deGrazia, and T. W. Randolph, Water-in-
Carbon Dioxide Emulsions: Formation and Stability, Langmuir, 15 (1999) 6781.
[27] G. B. Jacobson, C. T. Lee, Jr., K. P. Johnston, and W. Tumas, Enhanced Catalyst
Reactivity and Separations using Water/Carbon Dioxide Emulsions, J. Am. Chem.
Soc., 121 (1999) 11902.
[28] K. P. Johnston, Block Copolymers as Stabilizers in Supercritical Fluids, Current
Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, 5 (2000) 351.
[29] P. A. Psathas, S. R. P. DaRocha, C. T. Lee, Jr., and K. P. Johnston, Water-in-Carbon
Dioxide Emulsions with Poly(dimethylsiloxane)-Based Block Copolymer
Ionomers, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 39 (2000) 2655.
[30] J. L. Dickson, C. O. Estrada, J. F. J. Alvarado, H. S. Hwang, I. C. Sanchez, G. L.
Barcenas, K. T. Lim, and K. P. Johnston, Critical Flocculation Density of Dilute
Water-in-CO
2
Emulsions Stabilized with Block Copolymers, Journal of Colloid
and Interface Science, 272 (2004) 444.
[31] S. R. P. DaRocha, P. A. Psathas, E. Klein, and K. P. Johnston, Concentrated CO
2
-in-
Water Emulsions with Nonionic Polymeric Surfactants, Journal of Colloid and
Interface Science, 239 (2001) 241.

Radioactive Waste

238
[32] K. P. Johnston, D. Cho, S. R. P. DaRocha, P. A. Psathas, W. Ryoo, S. E. Webber, J.
Eastoe, A. Dupont, and D. C. Steytler, Water in Carbon Dioxide Macroemulsions
and Miniemulsions with a Hydrocarbon Surfactant, Langmuir, 17 (2001) 7191.
[33] M. Z. Yates, D. L. Apodaca, M. L. Campbell, E. R. Birnbaum, and T. M. McCleskey,
Metal Extractions using Water in Carbon Dioxide Microemulsions, Chem.
Commun., (2001) 25.
[34] M. L. Campbell, D. L. Apodaca, M. Z. Yates, T. M. McCleskey, and E. R. Birnbaum,
Metal Extraction from Heterogeneous Surfaces using Carbon Dioxide
Microemulsions, Langmuir, 17 (2001) 5458.
[35] J. Liu and W. Wang, G. Li, A New Strategy for Supercritical Fluid Extraction of
Copper Ions, Talanta, 53 (2001) 1149.
[36] K. Sawada, T. Takagi, and M. Ueda, Solubilization of Ionic Dyes in Supercritical
Carbon Dioxide: A Basic Study for Dyeing Fiber in Non-Aqueous Media, Dyes
and Pigments, 60 (2004) 129.
[37] J. H. Jun, K. Sawada, and M. Ueda, Application of Perfluoropolyether Reverse
Micelles in Supercritical CO
2
to Dyeing Process, Dyes and Pigments, 61 (2004) 17.
[38] C. R. Yonker, J. L. Fulton, M. R. Phelps, and L. E. Bowman, Membrane Separations
using Reverse Micelles in Nearcritical and Supercritical Fluid Solvents, J. of
Supercritical Fluids, 25 (2003) 225.
[39] M. Ji, X. Chen, C. M. Wai, and J. L. Fulton, Synthesizing and Dispersing Silver
Nanoparticles in a Water-in-Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Microemulsion, J. Am.
Chem. Soc., 121 (1999) 2631.
[40] H. Ohde, C. M. Wai, H. Kim, J. Kim, and M. Ohde, Hydrogenation of Olefins in
Supercritical CO
2
Catalyzed by Palladium Nanoparticles in a Water-in-CO
2

Microemulsion, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 124 (2002) 4540.
[41] H. Ohde, M. Ohde, F. Bailey, H. Kim, and C. M. Wai, Water-in-CO
2
Microemulsions
as Nanoreactors for Synthesizing CdS and ZnS Nanoparticles in Supercritical CO
2
,
Nano Letters, 2 (2002) 721.
[42] H. Yoshida, M. Sone, A. Mizushima, H. Yan, H. Wakabayashi, K. Abe, X. T. Tao, S.
Ichihara, and S. Miyata, Application of Emulsion of Dense Carbon Dioxide in
Electroplating Solution with Nonionic Surfactants for Nickel Electroplating,
Surface and Coating Technology, 173 (2003) 285.
[43] H. Yan, M. Sone, A. Mizushima, T. Nagai, K. Abe, S. Ichihara, and S. Miyata,
Electroplating in CO
2
-in-Water and Water-in-CO
2
Emulsions using a Nickel
Electroplating Solution with Anionic Fluorinated Surfactant, Surface and Coating
Technology, 187 (2004) 86.
[44] H. Wakabayashi, N. Sato, M. Sone, Y. Takada, H. Yan, K. Abe, K. Mizumoto, S.
Ichihara, and S. Miyata, Nano-Grain Structure of Nickel Films Prepared by
Emulsion Plating using Dense Carbon Dioxide, Surface and Coating Technology,
190 (2005) 200.
[45] M. Koh, M. Joo, K. Park, H. Kim, H. Kim, S. Han, and N. Sato, Ni Electroplating in the
Emulsions of Sc-CO
2
Formed by Ultrasonar, J. Kor, Inst, Surf. Eng., 37 (2004) 344.
[46] K. Park, M. Koh, C. Yoon, H. D. Kim, and H. W. Kim, Solubilization Study by QCM in
Liquid and Supercritical CO
2
under Ultrasonar, 2003 American Chemical Society,
860 (2003) 207.
[47] K. Park, M. Koh, C. Yoon, H. Kim, H. Kim, The Behavior of Quartz Crystal
Microbalance in High Pressure CO
2
, J. of Supercritical Fluids, 29 (2004) 203.
[48] D. Ensminger, Ultrasonics - Fundamentals, Technology, Applications, 2
nd
edition,
Marcel Dekker, INC., (1988) 391.
11
Radionuclide and Contaminant
Immobilization in the Fluidized
Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product
James J. Neeway
1
, Nikolla P. Qafoku
1
, Joseph H. Westsik Jr.
1
,
Christopher F. Brown
1
, Carol M. Jantzen
2
and Eric M. Pierce
3
1
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA,
2
Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC,
3
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN,
USA
1. Introduction
The goal of this chapter is to introduce the reader to the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming
(FBSR) process and resulting waste form. The first section of the chapter gives an overview
of the potential need for FBSR processing in nuclear waste remediation followed by an
overview of the engineering involved in the process itself. This is followed by a description
of waste form production at a chemical level followed by a section describing different
process streams that have undergone the FBSR process. The third section describes the
resulting mineral product in terms of phases that are present and the ability of the waste
form to encapsulate hazardous and radioactive wastes from several sources. Following this
description is a presentation of the physical properties of the granular and monolith waste
form product including and contaminant release mechanisms. The last section gives a brief
summary of this chapter and includes an overview of strengths associated with this waste
form and needs for additional data. The reader is directed elsewhere for more information
on other waste forms such as Cast Stone (Lockrem, 2005), Ceramicrete (Singh et al., 1997,
Wagh et al., 1999) and geopolymers (Kyritsis et al., 2009; Russell et al., 2006).
Classical steam reforming is a versatile process that decomposes organic materials through
reactions with steam (Olson et al., 2004a). Steam reforming has been used on a large scale by
the petrochemical industry to produce hydrogen for at least 65 years. If the material being
reformed contains halogens, phosphorus, or sulfur, mineral acids are also formed (e.g.,
hydrochloric acid, phosphorous acid, phosphoric acid, and hydrogen sulfide) unless
inorganic materials capable of scavenging these species are present in the waste or additives
(Nimlos & Milne, 1992; Olson et al., 2004a). Organic nitrogen is converted to N
2
, and organic
oxygen is converted to CO or CO
2
(Olson et al., 2004a). In the presence of a reducing agent
such as organic carbon, nitrates and nitrites are converted to nitrogen gas (Vora et al., 2009).
The waste feed may be either basic or acidic (Lorier et al., 2005). Alkali elements, including
sodium, potassium, and cesium in the wastes, alkali activate the unstable Al
3+
in the clay
to form new mineral phases. The other waste component cations and anions are captured in
the cage structures of the sodium aluminosilicate minerals.

Radioactive Waste

240
In 1999, the Studsvik facility in Erwin, Tennessee demonstrated the ability to commercialize
the FBSR process (Mason et al., 2003). The facility uses steam reforming based on a process
known as THermal Organic Reduction (THOR). The THOR FBSR process is being used
commercially to process liquid radioactive waste waste streams, including ion exchange resins,
charcoal, graphite, sludge, oil, and solvents that contain up to ~4.5 10
5
Sv/hr (Mason et al.,
2003). Steam reforming thermally treats wastes at temperatures ranging from 625 to 750C
using a fluidized bed reformer (Vora et al., 2009). During mineralization with superheated
steam, organic matter is converted to carbon dioxide and steam, while nitrates and nitrites are
reduced to nitrogen. The non-volatile solids in the residue are converted to water-insoluble
stable crystalline minerals that incorporate contaminants.
Other THOR Treatment Technologies, LLC (TTT) designed FBSR testing platforms have also
been built and used to demonstrate steam reforming technologies for the immobilization of
radioactive and simulant wastes at the bench-, pilot-, and engineering-scale. An FBSR
facility is being designed and constructed at Idaho National Engineering and Environmental
Laboratory (INEEL) for the treatment of sodium-bearing waste (SBW) to be sent for disposal
at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico (Marshall et al., 2003;
Olson et al., 2004b; Soelberg et al., 2004a). Another such facility is being considered for
converting Savannah River Site (SRS) salt supernate waste (Tank 48), containing nitrates,
nitrites, and cesium tetraphenyl borate (CsTPB) to carbonate or silicate minerals which are
compatible with subsequent vitrification (Soelberg et al., 2004b). Pilot-scale testing has also
been performed for other DOE wastes including Waste Treatment Plant-Secondary Waste
(WTP-SW) and Hanford Low-Activity Waste (LAW).
Another system called the Bench-Scale Reformer (BSR) has been developed at Savannah River
National Laboratory (SRNL) to help assess the suitability and effectiveness of the FBSR process
for the treatment of Hanford LAW (Burkett et al., 2008). The major difference between the
FBSR and BSR designs is that the BSR bed is not completely fluidized due to its containment in
shielded cells, restricting the height necessary to allow for this process disengagement (Burket
et al., 2008). Mineralization is still created by the BSR steam reforming reactions and
homogenization occurs by turbulent mixing after sample formation.
1.1 Fluidized bed steam reformer process description
A typical THOR mineralizing FBSR process can use either a single reformer or dual
reformer. The dual reformer flowsheet is only needed if the waste being mineralized
contains organics that need to be destroyed. Currently, there is no flowsheet for
encapsulating the FBSR granular product in a binder to produce a monolithic waste form
although this has been proven at the bench-scale. The dual reformer consists of the
following primary subsystems (Olson et al., 2004b):
1. A feed for gases, liquids, slurries, and co-additives such as clay and denitration catalysts;
2. The fluidized bed reactor vessel known as the Denitration and Mineralization Reformer
(DMR)
3. A high temperature filter (HTF) to catch fines and recycle them to the DMR bed to act
as seeds for particle size growth;
4. The solid and product collection from the DMR and HTF;
5. The off-gas treatment which can include the second reformer known as the Carbon
Reduction Reformer (CRR);
6. The monitoring and control of the system.
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

241
The FBSR process used for mineralizing high sodium wastes (nitrate and/or hydroxide) can
use either a single reformer flowsheet, the denitration DMR, or a dual reformer flowsheet,
including a CRR, to handle organics, as shown in Figure 1.
The DMR operating temperature is maintained at 700 to 750C for generating the sodium
aluminosilicate (Na-Al-Si or NAS) end product. The flow diagram shows the feed
preparation, denitration and mineralizing, and off-gas portions of the FBSR process. All
mineralization reactions take place in the DMR. Granular products are removed from the
bottom of the DMR and finer product solids are separated from the process outlet gases by
the HTF. The finer HTF mineral solids can be recycled back to the DMR bed as seed material
to the DMR bed, as shown in Figure 1, or the HTF mineral solids can be combined with the
granular mineral solids from the DMR to make a monolith. The process outlet gases are
treated in the off-gas treatment system to meet air permit emission limits. In the application
of FBSR to Hanford wastes, a clay mineralizing agent, any reductants, and any catalysts are
co-added to the DMR along with the waste(s) in the feed tank as shown in Figure 1. The bed
is fluidized with superheated steam and near-ambient pressure. A carbon source, such as
coal, wood product, or sucrose, is injected into the bed as a fuel source and
reducing/denitration agent. Within the fluidized bed, the waste-feed droplets coat the bed
particles and rapidly dry. Nitrates, nitrites, and organics are destroyed (TTT, 2009; Vora et
al., 2009). In the steam environment, the clay mineralizing agent injected with the wastes
becomes unstable as hydroxyl groups are driven out of the clay structure (Jantzen, 2008).
The clays become amorphous, and the silicon and aluminum atoms become very reactive.

Fig. 1. FBSR Sodium Aluminosilicate (NAS) Waste Form Dual Processing Flowsheet
(DMR = Denitration & Mineralizing Reformer; PR = Product Receiver;
HTF = High Temperature Filter (material recycled to DMR); CRR = Carbon Reduction
Reformer (treats gases only); OGF = Off-Gas Filter; HEPA = High-Efficiency Particulate Air
filter) (Adapted from Jantzen, 2008)

Radioactive Waste

242
1.1.1 Denitration and Mineralization Reformer
The DMR is a fluidized bed reformer with the bed media being fluidized using superheated
steam injected by a distributor at the bottom of the vessel. Granular carbon is also fed
directly into the bed to provide energy for the process. The reaction of solid carbon with
steam generates carbon monoxide and hydrogen, via the water/gas reaction (see Olson et
al., 2004b for a list of reactions). A small amount of oxygen is bled in to react with any excess
hydrogen to create more steam and heat because the reaction of oxygen and hydrogen is
exothermic. A metered flow of atomizing compressed air is used to atomize the waste/clay
slurry introduced to the bed. As the waste/clay slurry is injected into the bed by the waste
feed injectors, mineral products are formed by the hydrothermal reaction of the alkali metals
(sodium, cesium, and potassium) with the added clay (aluminosilicate). The reaction may
also involve clay and alkaline earths or other inorganics in the waste. DMR bed materials
consist of accumulated mineral stable, leach-resistant product granules that are fluidized by
the low-pressure steam.
When the waste feed is introduced into the fluidized bed as fine spray, the waste feed reacts
to form new minerals after contacting the heated fluidized bed. Nitrates and nitrites in the
feed react with reductive gases to produce mainly nitrogen gas with traces of NO
x
. The non-
volatile contaminant constituents, such as metals and radionuclides, are mineralized by
being incorporated into the final mineral species in the bed product. The process gases exit
the DMR through the HTF and consist mainly of steam, N
2
, CO, CO
2
, and H
2
. Some low
levels of NO
X
, acid gases, and short-chained organics may also be present and these can be
destroyed in the CRR.
1.1.2 Off-gas treatment system
The off-gas treatment system provides high-efficiency filtration and oxidation of any
residual volatile organics and small amounts of carbon monoxide and hydrogen from the
DMR. The process off-gas from the DMR is routed into a HTF to trap small mineral product
particles called fines. The gases pass through the carbon reduction reformer (CRR) to reduce
residual NO
X
to N
2
in the lower reducing zone and to oxidize CO, H
2
, and the residual
hydrocarbons into CO
2
and water vapor in the upper oxidizing stage of the CRR. The CRR
has a semi-permanent bed media composed of alumina. No additional NO
X
abatement or
acid gas removal is required because the nitrates and nitrites are converted into nitrogen gas
inside the DMR and CRR with a very high efficiency (TTT, 2009). Acid gases are minimized
as the S, Cl, and F are incorporated into the bed product mineral structures such that no wet
scrubber is required to remove acid gases in the off-gas treatment system. The off-gas from
the CRR is cooled and then passes a through a Off-Gas Filter (OGF) and then through a
high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to remove any further particulates. Further
cooling occurs in an off-gas cooler and the off-gas is then passed through another set of
HEPA filters and a mercury adsorber (if needed) before being exhausted out of a stack. The
FBSR process outlet gases are compliant with Maximum Achievable Control Technology
(MACT) limits for metals, HCl/Cl
2
, particulates, dioxins/furans, volatile and semi-volatile
organic compounds, total hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide as well as site discharge
limits for NO
X
and SO
X
(TTT, 2009; Vora et al., 2009).
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

243
1.2 Process control
Waste form process monitoring and control are necessary to obtain the desired mineral
product. The proper amount of additives and operation in the proper REDuction/OXidation
(REDOX) range ensure autocatalytic heating and pyrolysis. Mineralization control produces
the desired NAS phases and is based on the MINCALC
TM
process control system (See
Section 2.1.1). This strategy favors the formation of nepheline and sodalite.
To assist in finding the process REDOX potentials, an Electromotive Force (EMF) series
developed by Schreiber (2007) is used to determine what the oxygen fugacity in the DMR is
during mineralization. Iron, in the form of Fe
3+
(NO
3
) is added as a REDOX indicator and the
final product REDOX is measured spectrochemically using the Baumann method
(Baumann, 1992). By measuring the ratio of Fe
+2
/Fe in the resulting mineral product, the
EMF is used to back calculate the oxidation of the remaining multivalent species of interest,
e.g. S, Re, Cr. This calculation is more accurate if the unreacted coal in the bed product is
less than 10 wt%. All control boundaries lead to a complete denitration of the product.
Typically the FBSR process is run with a reducing environment with a log oxygen fugacity
of -15 to -16 Pa.
2. FBSR waste form process description
Kaolin clay, the aqueous waste stream, steam, and a carbon or other heat source, are the
only ingredients for the FBSR NAS granular product. This mix of liquids, solids, and gases is
provided through feed subsystems in order to obtain a desired FBSR process material and
conditions. The granular product is removed from the FBSR either as product from the
bottom of the bed or as particulates removed from the fluidizing gases by the HTF. Unless
the HTF particulates are recycled to the DMR bed as seed particles, these two materials are
then combined and encapsulated in a binder for final disposal. This section gives a more
detailed description of the additives used in the FBSR process.
2.1 Waste form ingredients
2.1.1 Kaolin clay
Kaolin clay is a key ingredient in the FBSR process. In kaolin clay, the aluminum atom is
octahedrally coordinated with bonds to two oxygen atoms and four hydroxyl ions. During
processing at 700-750C, the kaolin clay is destabilized and the four OH- atoms are
vaporized which leaves the clay Al atoms unstable and amorphous at the nanoscale. Alkalis
in the waste react with the unstable Al atom and rearrange to form a crystalline mineral
species with a low free energy tetrahedral configuration such as NaAlSiO
4
.
Several sources of kaolin clay have been used in the FBSR pilot-scale testing program with
Table 1 listing some of their properties. SnoBrite and OptiKasT kaolin clays were used for
tests with Hanford LAW (Olson et al., 2004b) while Troy and K-T Sagger XX kaolin clays
were used for tests with INEEL SBW (Olson et al., 2004a). All of these kaolin clays were
investigated for use as a mineralizing additive in the INEEL pilot-scale experiments. All the
clays were evaluated based on XRD, particle-size analyses, whole element chemistry, and
rheological properties (Olson et al., 2004b).

Radioactive Waste

244

Clay
Major
Phases
Minor phases
Si:Al
atom
ratio
Total
moisture
(wt %)
Particle size
(wt% less than
10% - 50% - 90%)
Particle
density
(g/cm3)
SnoBrite Kaolinite
(a)

Muscovite
(b)
;
Rutile (TiO2)
possible
1.02 14.20%
0.82m 5.00m
20.8m
2.77
OptiKasT Kaolinite
(a)
Muscovite
(b)
1.04 15.15%
0.74m 4.22m
15.9m
2.69
Troy Kaolinite
(a)

Muscovite
(c)
;
Quartz (SiO2)
possible
01:01.2 14.65%
1.83m
14.83m
57.1m
2.74
K-T
Sagger XX
Kaolinite
(d)

Muscovite
(b)

Rutile (TiO2)
01:01.7 10.60%
1.34m 6.55m
21.5m
2.73
(a) Kaolinite (PDF#75-1593) (Al2O32SiO22H2O)
(b) Muscovite (PDF#07-0042) (K, Na)(Al, Mg, Fe)2-(Si3.1Al0.9)O10(OH)2
(c) Muscovite (PDF#86-1385) ((K0.86Al1.94)(Al0.965Si2.895O10)- ((OH)1.744F0.256)
(d) Kaolinite (PDF#78-1996)
Table 1. Properties of Kaolin Clays Used in FBSR Pilot Scale Tests (from Olson et al., 2004b,
2004b)

Na
2
O
SiO
2
Al
2
O
3

Fig. 2. Ternary Diagram Showing Guidelines for Kaolin Clay Selection (from Crawford &
Jantzen, 2007)
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

245
The mineralizing agent needs to have a Si/Al that will react with the liquid waste and
produce desired minerals. The kaolin clay type was selected with the appropriate Al:Si
mole ratio that would suitably react with the Na and anions in the waste liquids. Usually,
a ternary phase diagram (such as the one depicted in Figure 2) shows the target region of
compositions that is thought to be the most favorable for producing the desired mineral
products (Crawford & Jantzen, 2007). Similar diagrams may be seen in Olson et al. (2004a)
and TTT (2009) for Hanford LAW and WTP-SW wastes, respectively. The most favorable
atomic ratios that would produce the desired nepheline and sodalite products are thought
to be 1 < M/Si < 1.33, 1 < M/Al < 1.33, 1 Al/Si, and M/(Al+Si) = 0.5-0.67, where M
represents an alkali metal, mostly Na in this case. Atomic ratios provide guidelines due to
the possibility of significant substitution of different alkali and alkaline earths, and some
Fe for Al, in these feldspathoid minerals (Olson et al.c 2004a). SRNL has developed a
spreadsheet called MINCALC
TM
that can be used as a tool to select the clay formulation
and carbon addition and to make adjustments, such as accounting for extra aluminum
and potassium in the wastes (Crawford & Jantzen, 2007; Pareizs et al., 2005). Additional
considerations for choosing the optimum mineralizing additive include particle-size
distribution that is optimized to make sure that as much clay as possible reacts with the
liquid waste as well as eliminating clays that contain additional elements that will not
react to form the desired mineral phases.
2.1.2 Carbon source
Different reductants (e.g., charcoal, carbon, or sugar) are used in the FBSR process to aid in
pyrolyzing organics, and removing nitrate. Charcoal or carbon plus steam creates H
2
for
autocatalytic heating, while sugar is not a good heat source and can only be used for the
denitration and pyrolysis. For example, different types of carbon were considered to be used
as reductants in the INEEL pilot-scale experiment (Olson et al., 2004a, 2004b). Carbon was
evaluated based on reactivity, particle size, particle fracturing (attrition) resistance, moisture
content, loss on ignition, and the ash composition. A wood-based carbon was chosen based
on its efficient performance
2.1.3 Other properties of the starting bed
The primary solid feed material in the fluidized bed reactor consists of granular carbon and
an initial starting bed media. The chosen starting material must be dense, inert, and have a
high heat capacity due to high processing temperatures (Olson et al., 2004b). Bed materials
that meet these criteria that were considered for an INEEL pilot-scale steam reformer were
alumina, dolomite, sintered bauxite beads, nepheline syenite, and sintered calcium silicate
(Olson et al., 2004b). Choice of starting bed material was based on composition, melting
point, resistance and durability, particle size, and availability of the material. 70-grit
alumina was finally chosen for the test. Alumina facilitates processing through its high heat
capacity which transfers heat to the atomized feed and prevents over-quenching in the feed
zone. Also, hot alumina does not seem to be coated by the product and was chosen because
of its attrition resistance and inertness (Olson et al., 2004a). The 2008 Hanford LAW and
WTP-SW pilot-scale tests at the Hazen Research Inc. (HRI) facility also used alumina as the
starting bed material.

Radioactive Waste

246
2.2 Process details
After startup, the FBSR process is straightforward. The feeds for the clay and tank wastes
are fed into the FBSR. Products exiting through the DMR are passed through the HTF or
recycled back into the DMR. The granular product is collected and allowed to cool before
sending to the binder station for encapsulation into a monolith.
A last step in FBSR, as related to radioactive waste management, is the product must be
encapsulated to meet disposal system requirements for compressive strength and to
minimize the dispersability of the material. Several binders have been tested (Jantzen, 2006;
TTT, 2009) and further testing and development is anticipated before a final form is selected.
Simple, inexpensive binders, such as a cementitious material, a geopolymer, or Ceramicrete,
are likely candidates. The geopolymer appears to be the most promising.
2.3 FBSR process chemistry
Two major processes occur simultaneously in the steam reforming of a nitrate salt: the
mineralization process and the denitration process. Mineralization is the reaction of
activated clay with estranged cations (Na, Cs, Tc, etc.) and other species present in the salt
waste (Cl, F, I, SO
4
, etc.). Stable crystalline clays become reactive amorphous clays at FBSR
processing temperatures because clays lose their hydroxyl groups above 550C. The waste
species react with the reactive amorphous meta-kaolin-clay to form new stable crystalline
mineral structures allowing formation and templating of mineral structures at moderate
temperatures. The resulting stable crystalline structures leave the process as a granular solid
product. Iron-bearing co-reactants can be added during processing to stabilize multivalent
hazardous species present in the waste in durable spinel phases, i.e. Cr, Ni, Pb iron oxide
minerals. Denitration, in the presence of a carbon source, is the reformation of the NO
3
and
NO
2
anions to N
2
, H
2
O (steam) and CO
2
.
3. FBSR waste form description
The FBSR waste form is composed of two main components: a granular product and an
encapsulating binder material. The primary granular product made by processing wastes in
the FBSR is formed of geophases (minerals). These phases may provide leach resistant
(durable) waste forms for immobilizing the contaminants that are present in different waste
liquids (Olson et al., 2004a). This granular product is then encapsulated in a binder material
to form a monolith which limits dispersability and provides some structural integrity for
subsidence prevention in the disposal facility. The existing FBSR waste form data are
derived from a number of pilot-scale FBSR tests conducted with INEEL SBW and Hanford
LAW and secondary waste simulants. Table 2 summarizes these tests.
3.1 Sodium aluminosilicate (NAS) primary waste form
3.1.1 Major mineral form attributes
The primary product from the FBSR process with kaolin clay is a granular product
composed of NAS minerals which bond with radionuclides and contaminants of concern
(COCs). The NAS FBSR granular product is a multiphase mineral assemblage of NAS
feldspathoid group minerals (sodalites, nosean, and nepheline) with cage and ring
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

247
structures that sequester anions and cations (Jantzen et al., 2007). The nomenclature of this
series of mineral species is governed by the species that occupies the cavities in the
aluminosilicate framework as well as the type of crystal structure, either cubic or
hexagonal. Nepheline is the basic NAS mineral with the formula Na
2
O-Al
2
O
3
-2SiO
2
. When
sulfates are captured within the cage structure, nosean forms with the formula 3Na
2
O-
3Al
2
O
3
-6SiO
2
Na
2
SO
4
. When chlorides are captured within the cage structure, sodalite
forms with the formula 3Na
2
O-3Al
2
O
3
-6SiO
2
2NaCl. Depending on the waste
compositions, process additives such as magnetite are added to retain Cr as FeCr
2
O
4

(Jantzen et al., 2007). The retention of anions and cations within the mineral structures of
the nepheline, sodalite, and nosean phases, as well as the role of magnetite, will be
discussed here. The most comprehensive work on the subject has been performed by
Jantzen et al. (2005) and Jantzen (2008) and this section summarizes the work presented
there.



Waste Pilot-Scale Facility Date Sample ID Monolith
Hanford Wastes
LAW AN-107, Envelope
C
(a), (b)

Hazen Research Facility, 6-
inch FBSR
Dec. 2001
SCT02-098-FM,
Fines PR-01
No
LAW Saltcake blend
(c)
SAIC STAR, 6-inch FBSR Aug. 2004
Bed 1103, Bed 1104,
Fines 1123
Blend
(i)

LAW Saltcake blend
(d)

Hazen Research Facility,
15-inch FBSR
2008
P1 PR bed, HTF
fines
Yes
WTP-SW LAW melter off-
gas recycle
(d)

Hazen Research Facility,
15-inch FBSR
2008
P2 PR bed, HTF
fines
Yes
LAW Saltcake blend
(e)
SRNL BSR, 2.75-inch 2010 Module B samples No
WTP-SW LAW melter off-
gas recycle
(e)

SRNL BSR, 2.75-inch 2010 Module A samples No
Idaho Wastes
SBW
(f)
SAIC STAR, 6-inch FBSR Jul-03
Bed 260, Bed 272,
Bed 277
Blend
(i)

SBW
(g)
SAIC STAR, 6-inch FBSR 2004 Bed 1173 Blend
(i)

SBW
(h)

Hazen Research Facility,
15-inch FBSR
2004 DMR4xxx, HTF4xxx No
(a) Jantzen, 2002
(b) Pareizs et al., 2005
(c) Olson et al., 2004a
(d) TTT, 2009
(e) Jantzen et al., 2011
(f) Marshall et al., 2003
(g) Olson et al., 2004b
(h) Ryan et al., 2008
(i) Blends are samples used in these studies that combined 20% LAW, 32% SBW and 45% starting bed
material
Table 2. Summary of FBSR Pilot-Scale Sodium Aluminosilicate Waste Form Preparation
Tests

Radioactive Waste

248
The NAS mineral waste forms are comprised mostly of nepheline (nominally NaAlSiO
4
or
Na
3
KAl
4
SiO
16
) which is a hexagonal structured feldspathoid mineral, sodalite and nosean
following the reactions:

2 3 2 4 2
waste
Nephelineproduct kaolinclayadditive
2NaOH Al O 2SiO 2 NaAlSiO H O + +


(1)

2 3 2 6 6 6 24 2
kaolinclayadditive Sodaliteproduct waste
8NaOH 2Cl 3(Al O 2SiO ) Na Al Si O (2NaCl) 3H O 2OH

+ + + +

(2)

4 2 3 2 6 6 6 24 2 4 2
kaolinclayadditive Nosean product waste
8NaOH SO 3(Al O 2SiO ) Na Al Si O (Na SO ) 3H O 2OH

+ + + +

(3)

4 2 3 2 6 6 6 24 4 2
kaolinclayadditive Sodaliteproduct waste
8NaOH 2ReO 3(Al O 2SiO ) Na Al Si O (2NaReO ) 3H O 2OH

+ + + +

(4)

4 4 6 6 6 24 4
nephelineproduct waste Sodalite
6NaAlSiO 2NaReO Na Al Si O (2NaReO ) +

(5)
The ring-structured aluminosilicate framework of nepheline forms cavities which can be 8-
or 9-coordinated. There are eight large (9-fold oxygen) coordination sites and six smaller (8-
fold oxygen) sites. The larger 9-fold coordination sites ionically bond with Ca, K, and Cs and
the smaller 8-fold sites ionically bond with Na (Deer et al., 1963). When K is the cation it is
known as kalsilite (KAlSiO
4
). In nature, the nepheline structure is known to accommodate
Fe, Ti and Mg, as well (Deer et al., 1963). In addition, rare earth nephelines are known, e.g.
NaYSiO
4
, Ca
0.5
YSiO
4
, NaLaSiO
4
, KLaSiO
4
, NaNdSiO
4
, KNdSiO
4
, and Ca
0.5
NdSiO
4
, where the
rare earth substitutes for Al in the structure (Barrer, 1982). A sodium-rich cubic structured
nepheline with excess Na is also known, e.g. (Na
2
O)
0.33
Na[AlSiO
4
] and was found in a FBSR
mineralized product (Jantzen, 2002, Pareizs et al, 2004). This nepheline structure has large
cage-like voids in the structure where Na can bond ionically to 12 framework oxygens
(Klingenberg & Felsche, 1986). This cage-structured nepheline has not been shown to occur
in nature. Despite this, the large cage-like voids should be capable of retaining large
radionuclides, especially monovalent anions such as (ReO
4
)
-1
(Olson et al., 2004a). Likewise,
Na
2
O deficient nepheline structures have been found in other FBSR mineralizing campaigns
for INEEL alumina-rich SBW (Olson et al., 2005).
Structurally related to the aluminosilicate framework of nepheline is the sodalite group of
minerals. Sodalite minerals have cage-like structures formed of aluminosilicate tetrahedra.
The cage structures retain anions and/or radionuclides that are ionically bonded to the
aluminosilicate tetrahedral and to sodium. The cage in sodalite is occupied by two sodium
and two chlorine ions can be written as Na
6
[Al
6
Si
6
O
24
]2NaCl to highlight that the NaCl
molecules are chemically bonded in the cavities. If the NaCl molecules are replaced by
Na
2
SO
4
, Na
2
CO
3
and NaOH the mineral names are known as nosean, natrodavyne, and
basic sodalite, respectively. Sodalite minerals are known to accommodate Be in place of Al
and S
2
in the cage structure, along with Fe, Mn, and Zn, e.g. danalite (Fe
4
[Be
3
Si
3
O
12
]S),
helvite (Mn
4
[Be
3
Si
3
O
12
]S), and genthelvite (Zn
4
[Be
3
Si
3
O
12
]S) (Deer et al, 1963). These cage-
structured sodalites are also found to retain Mo, Cs, Sr, B, Ge, I and Br (Buhl et al., 1989;
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

249
Deer et al., 1963; Fleet, 1989). Regardless of the oxidation state of sulfur during FBSR
processing, the feldspathoid minerals can accommodate sulfur as either sulfate or sulfide.
Although neither Cs nor Rb sodalites have been identified as phase pure end members, Cs
and Rb are tolerated in the sodalite structure (Deer et al, 1963; Deer et al., 2004). In addition,
non-naturally occurring Zeolite-A structures are known to form from the reaction of CsOH
and RbOH with kaolin clay (Barrer et al., 1968).
Due to the flexibility of the sodalite, monovalent species such as Cs
+
, K
+
, Ca
0.5
, Sr
0.5
, etc. can
substitute for Na
+
, while (SO
4
)
-2
, (MoO
4
)
-2
, (AsO
4
)
-2
, (MnO
4
)
-1
, and (ReO
4
)
-1
[and thus
presumably (TcO
4
)
-1
], can all substitute for the Cl
-
in the structure. In addition, I
-
, Br
-
, OH
-
,
and NO
3
-2
can all substitute for the Cl
-
atoms. In the above-listed oxyanions, the oxygens in
the tetrahedral polyhedral around the metal provide the oxygen bonds for the tetrahedral
XO
4
groups. These oxygen come from four of the six tetrahedra forming a ring along the
body diagonal of the cubic unit cell (Hassan & Gruncy, 1984). Boron and beryllium can
substitute for Al in a tetrahedral polyhedra in the sodalite structures as can Ti. Elements
such as Fe and Zn can substitute for Na
+
(Deer et al., 2004; Hassan & Gruncy, 1984). Figure 3
shows the flexibility of sodalite to incorporate various species in its structure.

Fig. 3. Structure of Sodalite showing (a) two-dimensional projection of the (b) three-
dimensional structure and (c) the four fold ionic coordination of the Na site to the Cl
-
ion
and three framework oxygen bonds. (Deer et al., 2004)
The last of the mentioned feldspathoid cage-structured minerals is nosean,
Na
6
[Al
6
Si
6
O
24
](Na
2
SO
4
). Nosean has Na
2
SO
4
bonded in the sodalite cage like structure. All
bonding in the sodalite/nosean single unit cell is ionic and the atoms are regularly arranged.
This is similar to the manner of ionic bonding in glass, but more highly ordered than the
atomic arrangements in glasses which have no long-range order (Jantzen, 2008).

Radioactive Waste

250
Another possible additive in FBSR processing to catalyze denitration is an iron oxide co-
reactant containing the spinel mineral magnetite (Jantzen, 2002). In this situation, and
potentially for waste streams rich in iron, spinels form that retain cations such as Cr within
the structure as FeCr
2
O
4
. This incorporation is made possible due to the reduction of Cr
6+
to
Cr
3+
at the elevated temperature and reducing atmosphere of the FBSR process (Jantzen et
al., 2007). The spinels such as Fe
3
O
4
( Fe
+2
Fe
2
+3
+ O
4
) are known to take Cr
+3
and Ti
+3
into
their lattice in place of Fe
+3
, as well as many of the divalent transition metals like Ni
2+
, Mn
2+
,
Zn
2+
, and Mg
2+
(Deer et al., 1963). Spinels have both tetrahedral and octahedral coordination
spheres with oxygen. The trivalent ions reside in the four-fold coordination positions and
the divalent ions reside in the six-fold coordination positions. All the trivalent and divalent
ions are ionically bonded to oxygen (Jantzen, 2008).
3.1.2 FBSR product morphology
The FBSR granular product is composed of two fractions from the FBSR process. Solids
collected from the bottom of the fluidized bed are captured in the PR. Figure 4 shows a
photograph of the PR material from the 2008 Hazen pilot-scale test with the Hanford LAW
simulant. The PR material includes residual carbon from coal or wood products used in the
FBSR as an energy source and as a reductant. Unreacted carbon can be removed by roasting
at 525C (Bullock et al., 2002). Carbon is often removed to ensure that it does not contribute
to the measured surface area used for durability testing (Jantzen & Crawford, 2010). This
temperature is high enough to remove carbon in an oxidizing atmosphere but not too high
to change the composition of the phase assemblages of the product. The PR material may
also include residual alumina used as an initial seed material when the FBSR is first started
up. Solids leaving the FBSR entrained in the fluidizing gases are captured in the high-
temperature filter (HTF). The morphology of the finer particles, which tend to clump
together but are relatively easy to collect are also shown in Figure 4.

Fig. 4. Example of FBSR Granular Product from the Product Receiver (left). Microprobe
Photographs of High Temperature Filter (HTF) Fines (right) (from TTT, 2009)
Some scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs of the FBSR material from the 2001
Hazen Research facility test with Hanford LAW are presented in Figure 5. The micrograph on
the left clearly shows FBSR materials to be highly porous. It is also worth noticing the black
dots in the micrograph on the right which indicate the presence of magnetite (Fe
3
O
4
). Iron
oxides are also good hosts for contaminants, e.g. forming spinels with Cr and Ni in the wastes.
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

251

Fig. 5. SEM Micrographs of Typical FBSR Product Grain (left). Optical photograph of
SCT02-098 particle (FBSR material); the black particles are magnetite (Fe
3
O
4
)
(McGrail et al., 2003a).



(a) 1123 Bed product (b) 1173 Bed product (sectioned)

Fig. 6. SEM Photomicrographs of FBSR Bed Product Showing the Surface Topography and
Porosity (Lorier et al., 2005). Also see Table 2 for sample origins.
Figure 6 shows SEM micrographs in as received (left) and in as embedded and sectioned
(right) by Lorier et al. (2005) of FBSR materials from tests in 2004 with Hanford LAW
saltcake simulant (Bed 1123) and INEEL SBW simulant (Bed 1173), respectively. The LAW
saltcake FBSR product shows the particle shape and irregular surface topography of the
granular product. The SBW micrograph shows the internal porosity of a granule in cross-
section. Large uncertainties associated with the porosity of the FBSR granular product gives

Radioactive Waste

252
a large discrepancy between a calculated geometric surface area and the measured surface
area of the material using Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller (BET) (Brunauer et al., 1938) surface
area measurements. Using the smaller surface area from the geometrical value would lead
to an underestimation in dissolution rates used for product durability studies therefore it
has been recommended to use the surface area obtained from BET measurements (McGrail
et al., 2003a).
3.2 Phase composition and mineralogy
Studies have been conducted with different FBSR materials to determine the minerals that
are present. Most of these minerals are believed to belong to the groups of nepheline,
sodalite, and carnegieite, all feldspathoids with a one molar ratio of Si:Al:Na. Carnegeite is a
metastable form of nepheline with the same chemical composition but with less atomic
order. It readily transforms to nepheline upon heating (Jantzen & Crawford, 2010). Both
nepheline and carnegeite have ring structures. In Table 3 one may see a summary of the
mineral phases identified by Jantzen and Crawford (2010) in the Hanford LAW and WTP-
SW pilot-scale tests as well as the INEEL SBW tests. Nepheline (NaAlSiO
4
) is the primary
phase formed. The fines captured in the HTF have a shorter residence time in the FBSR and
contain low-carnegieite. Data in the table are from an XRD method that gives information
on the specific crystalline phases present by comparison to reference library spectra. No
internal standards were used to allow for quantitative measurements of the phases.
Information on major, minor and trace phases present are given by intercomparison of
the main peaks of each crystalline pattern within a sample.
In addition to the NAS phases, other minor phases have been identified using XRD of the
FBSR granular product. These include quartz (SiO
2
) and anatase (TiO
2
), which are
impurities in the clays used as mineralizing agents in the FBSR. Corundum (crystalline
alumina, Al
2
O
3
) results from the seed material for starting up the FBSR process. Its
concentration decreases over time as the starting FBSR bed material leaves through the PR.
Hematite (Fe
2
O
3
) and magnetite (Fe
3
O
4
) were identified in the Hanford Envelope C product,
most likely due to the iron oxide additive used as a denitration catalyst (Jantzen, 2002).
Jantzen et al. (2006b) also report that amorphous metakaolin was identified by SEM in the
early LAW Envelope C and Envelope A FBSR tests as unreacted cores in the mineralized
granules.
Nosean and sodalite have been identified as minor NAS phases in the FBSR granular
product. Nosean and sodalite have cage structures that can retain anions and radionuclides
that bond ionically within the structure. Table 4 shows how various elements within
Hanford tank wastes may substitute in the nepheline, sodalite, and nosean structures
(Jantzen et al., 2011).
The oxidation state can impact how and where contaminants are captured in the FBSR
product (Jantzen, 2008). The FBSR process is run under reducing conditions with a log
oxygen fugacity of -15 to -16 Pa. Under the designed REDOX conditions, a REDOX-sensitive
species, such as chromium, is predicted to be 50 to 70% reduced to Cr
3+
and would be
sequestered in a spinel (hematite or magnetite) phase. Sulfur is predicted to be only 1 to 19%
reduced to S
2+
and would enter the sodalite phase as SO
4
in the +6 oxidation state.
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

253

FBSR Product
Low-
Carnegieite
a

Nepheline
Nosean and/or
Sodalite
Other Minor Components
Hanford Envelope C LAW Wastes (2002) Fe
+2
/Fe of Bed = 0.15
SCT02-098-FM X Y Al2O3, Fe2O3, Fe3O4
Fines PR-01 X X Y Al2O3, Fe2O3, Fe3O4
Hanford Envelope A LAW Wastes (2004) Fe
+2
/Fe of Bed = 0.28-0.81
Bed 1103 X X Y TiO2
Bed 1104 X X Y TiO2
Fines 1125 X Y TiO2
INEEL SBW Wastes (2003-2004) Fe
+2
/Fe of Bed = 0.51-0.61
Bed 260 Y X TR Al2O3 and TiO2
Bed 272 Y X TR TiO2
Bed 277 Y X TR TiO2
Bed 1173 X TR
Al2O3, SiO2, NaAl11O17,
(Ca,Na)SiO3
Hanford Rassat LAW Wastes (2008) Fe
+2
/Fe of Bed = 0.41-0.90
PR Bed Product 5274
(P1A)
Y X X Al2O3
PR Bed Product 5316
(P1A)
Y X X Pyrophyllite*
HTF Fines 5280 (P1A) X Y NaAl11O17 (Diaoyudaoite),TiO2
HTF Fines 5297 (P1A) X Y X SiO2
PR Bed Product 5359
(P1B)
Y X X Pyrophyllite*
PR Bed Product 5372
(P1B)
Y X X Pyrophyllite*
HTF Fines 5351 (P1B) X Y Y SiO2
HTF Fines 5357 (P1B) X Y Y TiO2
Composite (P1A) X Y Y SiO2 and TiO2
Composite (P1B) X Y Y SiO2 and TiO2
Hanford Melter Off-Gas Recycle (WTP SW) Wastes (2008) Fe
+2
/Fe =0.41-0.90
PR 5475 (P2A) Y Y X Pyrophyllite*
HTF Fines 5471
(P2A)
X X X SiO2
PR 5522 (P2B) Y Y X Pyrophyllite*, TiO2
HTF Fines 5520
(P2B)
X X X SiO2 and TiO2
Composite (P2B) Y X X SiO2
X = Major constituent; Y = Minor constituent; TR = trace constituent; a = the PDF for this phase states it
is orthorhombic nepheline and possibly low-carnegeite (PDF 052-1342). Note low-carnegeite also has
ring structures that are oval for sequestration of K, Cs, etc; *Al1.333Si2.667O6.667(OH)1.333
Table 3. Mineral Phases Analyzed in FBSR Products (from Jantzen & Crawford, 2010).
Rhenium, often used as a non-radioactive surrogate for technetium, is predicted to be only 2
to 6% reduced to the +4 oxidation state at the nominal operating conditions. At the +7
oxidation state, rhenium, and by association, technetium, are predicted to enter the sodalite
phase. Mattigod et al. (2006) were able to synthesize sodalite [Na
8
(AlSiO
4
)
6
(ReO
4
)
2
] that
contained Re(VII). Its crystal structure was determined from Rietveld refinement of

Radioactive Waste

254
experimental XRD data. This study showed that Re(VII) can be incorporated into NAS
solids. REDOX control is important for making certain that the contaminants enter the
desired FBSR mineral phases. Only 2.5% of the Re was in the +7 state and 1% of the S was in
the +6 state in the HTF product compared to 94 to 95% Re(VII) and 86 to 89% S
6+
in the PR
product.

NephelineKalsilite
Structures (a)
Sodalite Structures
(b)
Nosean Structures
NaxAlySizO4
(c)
[Na6Al6Si6O24](NaCl)2
(c)
[Na6Al6Si6O24](Na2SO4)
(c, d)

where x=1-1.33
y and z = 0.55-1.1
KAlSiO4 [Na6Al6Si6O24](NaF)2
(c)
[Na6Al6Si6O24](Na2Mo4)
(c, e)

K0.25Na0.75AlSiO4
(c)
[Na6Al6Si6O24](NaI)2
(d)
[Na6Al6Si6O24]((Ca,Na)SO4)1-2
(f)

CsAlSiO4
(c)
[Na6Al6Si6O24](NaReO4)2
(g)
[(Ca,Na)6Al6Si6O24]((Ca,Na)S,SO4,Cl)
RbAlSiO4
(c)
[Na6Al6Si6O24](NaMnO4)2
(h)

(Ca0.5,Sr0.5)AlSiO4
(c)
(NaAlSiO4)6(NaBO4)2
(i, j)

(Sr,Ba)Al2O4
(c)
Mn4[Be3Si3O12]S
(d)

KFeSiO4
(c)
Fe4[Be3Si3O12]S
(d)

(Na,Ca0.5)YSiO4
(h)
Zn4[Be3Si3O12]S
(d)

(Na,K)LaSiO4
(h)

(Na,K,Ca0.5)NdSiO4
(h)

(a) Iron, Ti
3+
, Mn, Mg, Ba, Li, Rb, Sr, Zr, Ga, Cu, V, and Yb all substitute in trace amounts in nepheline
(Deer et al., 2004).
(b) Higher valent anionic groups such as AsO4
3-
and CrO4
2-
form Na2XO4 groups in the cage structure
where X= Cr, Se, W, P, V, and As (Barrer, 1982).
(c) Deer et al., 2004 (f) Dana, 1931 (i) Buhl et al. 1989
(d) Deer et al., 1963 (g) Mattigod et al., 2006 (j) Tobbens and Buhl 2000
(e) Brookins 1984 (h) Barrer 1982

Table 4. Cation and Anion Substitution in Feldspathoid Mineral Structures (from Jantzen et
al., 2011)
3.3 Encapsulating materials
The FBSR granular product will need to be encapsulated in a binder or be contained within
high-integrity containers to meet Hanford IDF requirements for compressive strength of 3.4
MPa (500 psi). The compressive strength requirement is driven by the need to prevent
subsidence, or sinking, of the disposal facility to maintain surface cap and barrier
functionality. Encapsulating the granular product also helps reduce the impact of the
dispersible materials in human intrusion scenarios.
Several works have studied the encapsulation of the FBSR granular products with various
binders (Jantzen, 2006, 2007; TTT, 2009). Different matrices that have been evaluated as
potential binders for FBSR granular product encapsulation have been ordinary Portland
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

255
cement (OPC), Ceramicrete phosphate bonded ceramic, hydroceramic cements, and several
geopolymers. The cement monoliths were prepared with Type II Portland cement and
Portland cement plus precipitated silica as a chemically pure representative of a fly ash
pozzolanic material. Ceramicrete is a phosphate-based cement developed at Argonne
National Laboratory (ANL) (Singh et al., 1997, 1998; Wagh et al., 1997, 1999). It is made from
an acidic solution of potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KH
2
PO
4
) and magnesium oxide
(MgO). Hydroceramics are prepared through the reaction of a sodium hydroxide solution
with metakaolin clay. Under controlled curing conditions, the clay and caustic react to form
zeolite mineral phases. Geopolymers are amorphous ceramic-like, inorganic polymers made
from the cross-linked three-dimensional structure of aluminosilicates. No zeolite phases
form because of the insufficient presence of water. All binders are formed at room
temperature. The monoliths must be able to include the FBSR granular bed product
material, the starting bed product, HTF fines, and unreacted carbon. Comparisons of some
different binder materials can be seen in Table 5.

Binder Type Monolith
Waste
Loading
Compressive
Strength (psi)
Cure
Time
(days)
Density
(g/cc)
BET
Surface
area
(m2/g)
OPC OPC-1 80% 1,630 12 1.64 31.5
OPC OPC-2 87% 573 28 1.61 21.3
High Al Cement FON-1 68% 770 7 1.77 20
High Al Cement FON-2 74.16% 490 7 1.75 15.5
High Al Cement S41-1 68.60% 672 7 1.75 10.7
High Al Cement S41-2 74.16% 340 15 1.7 10.7
High Al Cement S71-1 68.60% 1,120 7 1.7 13.1
High Al Cement S71-2 74.16% 550 15 1.65 9.2
Geopolymer GEO-1 67% 1,510 11 1.87 15.2
Geopolymer GEO-2 72% 860 14 1.87 17.3
Geopolymer GEO-3 67% 1,270 11 1.81 10.9
Geopolymer GEO-4 71% 410 11 1.84 6.2
Geopolymer GEO-5 63% 950 7 1.88 10.6
Geopolymer GEO-6 66% 1,080 7 1.82 10
Ceramicrete CER-1 67% 520 8 1.81 32.2
Ceramicrete CER-2 73% 550 28 1.81 27.7
Table 5. A summary of 2-inch Monolith Cubes (TTT, 2009).
4. Physical properties
Table 6 gives data on the density, particle size, and surface area of the FBSR granular
product from the early FBSR campaigns with INEEL SBW and the Hanford LAW campaign
(Jantzen et al., 2006). The measured BET surface areas were measured in this study on a
carbon-free basis (coal removed by roasting), and the value measured by McGrail et al.
(2003a) (coal removed manually) was obtained for comparison. The geometric surface area
is from Lorier et al. (2005).

Radioactive Waste

256


Density by
Pycnometry
(g/cm
3
)
Surface Area by
BET (m
2
/g)
Surface Area Geometric
(m
2
/g)
SBW SAIC STAR (Marshall et al., 2003)
Bed 260, 272, 277 3.30, 3.13, 2.73 6.03
LAW Saltcake (Rassat blend) SAIC STAR (Olson et al. , 2004a)
Bed 1103 2.53 4.53
Bed 1123 2.53 4.43 0.0212
(a)

Fines 1125 2.46 4.41
SBW Hazen (Olson et al., 2004b)
Bed 1173 2.76 2.36 0.0194
(a)

LAW Envelope C (AN-107) Hazen (Jantzen, 2002; Pareizs et al., 2005)
Bed SCT-02 2.66, 2.764
(b)
2.37
(b)
0.0193
PR-01 Fines 2.5 5.15
(a) Lorier et al., 2005
(b) McGrail et al., 2003b
Table 6. Density and Surface Area of FBSR Granular Products
5. Contaminant release mechanisms
A current summary of knowledge regarding the mineralization of radioactive wastes by the
FBSR process and a comparison of the durability glass and the FBSR mineral phases has
been provided in a previous publication by Jantzen (2008). A basic understanding of FBSR
contaminant release mechanisms starts with an understanding of the crystalline product.
Mineral waste assemblages formed by FBSR possess short-range order (SRO). SRO in the
NAS mineral structures allows contaminants to be trapped in the cage-shaped structures
while those external to the cage-shaped structures are bound ionically to oxygen atoms.
NAS cage-structured feldspathoid minerals present in FBSR material (mostly sodalite,
nosean, and nepheline) are formed by SRO. SRO becomes medium-range order (MRO)
through the structures of (SiO
4
)
-4
and (AlO
4
)
-5
tetrahedra, which are joined by sharing one or
more of the four oxygen atoms with another tetrahedra. The tetrahedra are arranged to form
a cage (sodalite, nosean) or rings (nepheline) via one or two of the tetrahedral oxygen atoms
(bridging oxygens), while the other tetrahedral oxygen atoms (non-bridging oxygens) are
available to bond ionically with the cations inside or outside the cage. These cations may be
alkali or alkaline earths which may be hazardous or radioactive. The cage and/or ring
structures are repeated at regular periodicity, which is the long-range order (LRO)
characteristic of mineral/crystalline structures. The LRO provides shorter and more regular
oxygen-cation (ionic) bonding and a periodic ordering. Glasses do not possess LRO, but
they do possess SRO and MRO. Sometimes glasses have more highly ordered regions,
referred to as clusters or quasicrystals that have atomic arrangements that approach those of
crystals. The ordered regions are metastable compared to crystalline minerals because
crystalline species are at their lowest thermodynamic free energy. Therefore, the NAS FBSR
mineral structure waste forms are inherently stable.
An explanation of the enhanced durability has been given by Jantzen (2008). According to
this author, the dissolution mechanisms (contaminant release mechanisms) of the SRO and
MRO in mineral (ceramic) and vitreous waste forms are similar. Mineral waste forms can
afford better retention of cationic species compared to glass waste forms due to the LRO of
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

257
the mineral structure and the regularity of the coordination and bonding of a given
coordination polyhedra in which a cation or radionuclide resides. While the activation
energy required to break an Si-O, Al-O, B-O bond may be similar in a glass and a
ceramic/mineral, due to the SRO, the (SiO
4
)
-4
, (BO
4
)
-5
, (BO
3
)
-3
and some (AlO
4
)
-5
are more
rigidly retained in a mineral structure due to the LRO and periodicity (repeated pattern) of
the polyhedra. This author also asserts that in mineral waste forms, as in glass, the
molecular structure controls contaminant release by establishing the distribution of ion
exchange sites, hydrolysis sites, and the access of water to those sites. It has been
demonstrated experimentally that ion exchange in glass occurs along percolation channels
that exist in glass. The cations in the percolation channels are ionically bonded to the non-
bridging oxygen (NBO) bonds, just as they are in the more ordered crystalline mineral
species. In the mineral waste forms there are no percolation channels and dissolution with
water must attack the ionically bonded lattice from the surface. The basic difference is that
there may be fewer bonds around a given cation in a glass or the bonds may have varying
lengths compared to those in a crystalline or mineral waste form.
6. Concluding remarks
The primary product from the FBSR process is a granular product composed of NAS
minerals. The NAS FBSR granular product is a multiphase mineral assemblage of Na-Al-Si
feldspathoid minerals (sodalite, nosean, and nepheline) with cage and ring structures that
sequester anions and cations (Jantzen et al., 2007). Nepheline is the basic NAS mineral with
the formula Na
2
O-Al
2
O
3
-2SiO
2
. When sulfates are captured within the cage structure,
nosean forms with the formula 3Na
2
O-3Al
2
O
3
-6SiO
2
Na
2
SO
4
. When chlorides are captured
within the cage structure, sodalite forms with the formula 3Na
2
O-3Al
2
O
3
-6SiO
2
2NaCl.
Depending on the waste compositions, process additives such as magnetite are included to
form iron-bearing spinel minerals to sequester Cr and Ni in the waste.
The FBSR waste form may be encapsulated in a binder to minimize dispersability. A
number of binders have been evaluated including ordinary Portland cement, high-alumina
cements, geopolymers prepared with either kaolin clay or fly ash, various hydroceramic
cements and an advanced silicone geopolymer composite material. Characterization data
are available on the FBSR granular product prepared with the LAW, WTP-SW, and SBW
simulants. This includes some contaminant release studies to support risk assessments and
LAW waste form down selections in the early 2000s. Some characterization data is also
available on the various binders being evaluated.
6.1 Strengths associated with this waste form
Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming (FBSR) offers a moderate temperature continuous method
by which LAW and/or WTP-SW wastes can be processed irrespective of whether they
contain organics, nitrates, sulfates/sulfides, chlorides, fluorides, volatile radionuclides or
other aqueous components. The FBSR technology can process these wastes into a crystalline
ceramic (mineral) waste form. The FBSR process also differs from glass or ceramic waste
form production in that it is carried out at temperatures ranging from 700 to 750C whereas
glass are ceramics are made from temperatures ranging from 1000 to 1500C (Jantzen, 2008;
Vora et al., 2009; Williams et al., 2010). This makes FBSR an attractive option in secondary
liquid waste treatment especially for encapsulation of volatile contaminants of concern.

Radioactive Waste

258
Monolithing of the granular FBSR product is being investigated to prevent dispersion
during transport or burial/storage, which is a regulatory driver and not necessary for the
durability and performance of this waste form. The mineral product degrades by the
breaking of atomic bonds in the mineral structure in the same fashion as atomic bonds are
broken in vitreous waste forms. Therefore, monolith formulation versus durability is
considered supplementary since monolith selection is based on the scenario that the
monolith will not compromise the mineral product durability.
The FBSR process has been demonstrated at a non-radioactive scale using simulants for
Hanford LAW wastes and Idaho SBW. The FBSR process has been demonstrated with a
secondary waste stream (WTP-SW) from the WTP based on an early LAW scenario in which
the LAW melter submerged bed scrubber and wet electrostatic precipitator condensates are
sent from the WTP as a secondary liquid stream for treatment. A testing program is
currently underway using a bench-scale steam reformer and actual tank wastes.
Research teams from SRNL and PNNL are currently working to perform different tests with
the FBSR materials. Some of the major findings and results collected so far and are
summarized below:
Data indicates
99
Tc, Re, Cs, and I (all isotopes) report to the mineral product and not to
the off-gas

99
Tc and Re show similar behavior in partitioning between product and off-gas

99
Tc, Re, SO
4
and Cr behavior are controlled by the oxygen fugacity in the FBSR/BSR
process, i.e. control of the REDuciton/OXidation (REDOX) equilibrium
XAS results show that Re is in the 7+ oxidation state and contained in the sodalite
structure
Re is a good surrogate for
99
Tc during leaching experimentation proving that the
current radioactive and simulant BSR campaign products using Re and
99
Tc match the
historic and engineering scale data that used Re only proving the tie back strategy
All monoliths made from radioactive and non-radioactive granular products pass
compression testing at >3.4 MPa (500 psi), maintain PCT leach rates <2 g/m
2
, and
perform well in ASTM C1308 (ASTM, 2008b) and ANSI 16.1 (ANS, 2008) testing
indicating that the binder material is not degrading the granular product durability
response.
In order to match the Bench-Scale Reformer (BSR) REDOX to the Engineering Scale
Technology Demonstration (ESTD) REDOX, the addition of reductants such as coal and
control of gas inputs were adjusted during production: a more rigorous REDOX control
strategy needs to be developed to ensure the COCs are in the correct oxidation states.
6.2 Sparse data and unresolved issues
Though the FBSR products have been studied over the last years, there are still some areas
that remain with sparse data and unresolved issues. This is in contrast with glasses that
have been studied as confinement materials for more than 30 years. More durability testing
of all FBSR products using both the Single Pass Flow-Through (SPFT) and Product
Consistency Test (PCT) methods to compare to various glasses are needed to better
understand contaminant release mechanisms. The physical characteristics of the FBSR
material must also be studied. This includes a better standing of the effective surface area
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

259
available for leaching by water. Further research needs to be conducted to determine the
preferred host mineral phase for different radioactive materials and COCs under oxidizing
and reducing conditions. Data must be obtained regarding the impacts of radiation,
biodegradation, and water immersion on the compressive strength of the FBSR granular
product encapsulated in any of the binder materials being considered for compression tests.
Methods to consolidate the FBSR granular product into monolith waste forms are being
investigated (Jantzen, 2007; TTT, 2009). The porosity and void volume of these materials on
an engineering or production scale are, as yet, unknown. More research also needs to be
conducted concerning the fabrication of the binder.
7. References
ANSAmerican Nuclear Society (2008). Measurement of the Leachability of Solidified Low-
Level Radioactive Wastes by a Short-Term Test Procedure. ANSI/ANS-16.1-2003;
R2008, American Nuclear Society, La Grange Park, Illinois.
ASTMAmerican Society for Testing and Materials (2008a). Standard Test Method for
Determining the Chemical Durability of Nuclear Waste Glasses: The Product
Consistency Test (PCT). ASTM C1285 - 02(2008), American Society for Testing and
Materials, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
ASTMAmerican Society for Testing and Materials (2008b). Standard Test Method for
Accelerated Leach Test for Diffusive Releases from Solidified Waste and a
Computer Program to Model Diffusive, Fractional Leaching from Cylindrical
Waste Forms. ASTM C1308-08, American Society for Testing and Materials, West
Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
Barrer, R.M. (1982). Hydrothermal Chemistry of Zeolites. Academic Press, ISBN: 0120793601,
New York
Barrer, R.M, Cole, J.F., & Sticher. H. (1968). Chemistry of Soil Minerals. Part V, Low
Temperature Hydrothermal Transformations of Kaolinite. Journal of the Chemical
Society A: Inorganic, Physical, Theoretical, pp. 2475-2485
Baumann, E.W. (1992). Colorimetric Determination of Iron(II) and Iron(III) in Glass. Analyst,
Vol. 117, No. 5, pp. 913-916
Brunauer, S., Emmett, P.H., & Teller, E. (1938). Adsorption of Gases in Multimolecular
Layers. Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 60, pp. 309-319
Buhl, J.C, Engelhardt, G., & Felsche, J. (1989). Synthesis, X-Ray Diffraction, and MAS n.m.r.
Characteristics of Tetrahydroxoborate Sodalite, Na
8
[AlSiO
4
]
6
[B(OH)
4
]
2
. Zeolites, Vol.
9, No. 1, pp. 40-44
Bullock Jr, J.H., Cathcart, J.D., & Betterton. W.J. (2002). Analytical methods utilized by the
United States Geological Survey for the analysis of coal and coal combustion by-
products. Open-File Report 02-389. U. S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado.
Burket, P.R., Daniel, W.E., Nash, C.A., Jantzen, C.M. & Williams, M.R. (2008). Bench-Scale
Steam Reforming of Actual Tank 48H Waste. SRNS-STI-2008-00105, Savannah
River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina.
Crawford, C.L. & Jantzen, C.M. (2007). Durability Testing of Fluidized Bed Steam Reformer
(FBSR) Waste Forms for Sodium Bearing Waste (SBW) at Idaho National
Laboratory (INL). WSRC-STI-2007-00319, Savannah River National Laboratory,
Aiken, South Carolina.

Radioactive Waste

260
Dana, E.S. (1932). A Textbook of Mineralogy, ISBN: 9780471193050, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
New York
Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A., & Zussman, J. (1963). Rock-Forming Minerals. ISBN: 9781862392595,
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York
Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A., Wise, W.S., & Zussman, J. (2004). Rock-Forming Minerals, Framework
Silicates: Silica Minerals, Feldspathoids and the Zeolites. ISBN: 9781862391444, The
Geological Society, London
Fleet, M.E. (1989). Structures of sodium alumino-germanate sodalites. Acta Crystallographica
C: Crystal Structure Communications C, Vol. 45, No. 6, pp. 843-847
Hassan, I. & Gruncy, H.D. (1984). The Crystal Structures of Sodalite-Group Minerals. Acta
Crystallography Section B, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 6-13
Jantzen, C.M. (2002). Engineering Study of the Hanford Low Activity Waste (LAW) Steam
Reforming Process (U). WSRC-TR-2002-00317, Rev. 1, Savannah River National
Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina.
Jantzen, C.M. (2006). Fluidized Bed Steam Reformer (FBSR) Product: Monolith Formation
and Characterization. WSRC-STI-2006-00033, Savannah River National Laboratory,
Aiken, South Carolina.
Jantzen, C.M. (2007). Fluidized Bed Steam Reformer (FBSR) Monolith Formation, Proceedings
of Waste Management 2007, Tucson, Arizona, March 2007.
Jantzen, C.M. (2008). Mineralization of Radioactive Wastes by Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming
(FBSR): Comparisons to Vitreous Waste Forms, and Pertinent Durability Testing.
WSRC-STI-2008-00268, Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina.
Jantzen, C.M & Crawford, C.L. (2010). Mineralization of Radioactive Waste Wastes by
Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming (FBSR): Radionuclide Incorporation, Monolith
Formation, and Durability Testing. Proceedings of Waste Management 2010, Phoenix,
Arizona, March 2010.
Jantzen, C.M., Pareizs, J.M., Lorier, T.H., & Marra, J.C. (2005). Durability Testing of
Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming (FBSR) Products (U). Proceedings of Waste
Management Technologies in Ceramic and Nuclear Industries, American Ceramic
Society, Westerville, Ohio.
Jantzen, C.M., Lorier, T.H., Marra, J.C., & Pareizs, J.M. (2006). Durability Testing of
Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming (FBSR) Waste Forms. Proceedings of Waste
Management 2006. Tucson, Arizona, February 2006
Jantzen, C.M., Lorier, T.H., Pareizs, J.M., & Marra, J.C. (2007). Fluidized Bed Steam
Reformed (FBSR) Mineral Waste Forms: Characterization and Durability Testing.
In: Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XXX, eds. Begg, B., Dunn, D. S.,
Poinssot, C., 985: pp. 379-386. Materials Research Society, Warrendale,
Pennsylvania.
Jantzen, C.M., Crawford, C.L., Burket, P.R., Daniel, W.G. Cozzi, A.D., & Bannochie, C.J. (2011).
Radioactive Demonstrations of Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming (FBSR) as a
Supplemental Treatment for Hanfords Low-Activity Waste (LAW) and Secondary
Wastes (SW). Proceedings of Waste Management 2011, Phoenix, Arizona, February 2011
Klingenberg, R. & Felsche, J. (1986). Interstitial Cristobalite-Type Compounds
(Na
2
O)
0.33
Na[AlSiO
4
]). Journal of Solid State Chemistry, Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 40-44.
Radionuclide and Contaminant Immobilization
in the Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Waste Product

261
Kyritsis, K., Meller, N. & Hall, C. (2009). Chemistry and Morphology of Hydrogarnets
formed in Cement-Based CASH Hydroceramics Cured at 200 to 350C. Journal of
the American Ceramic Society, Vol. 92, No. 5, pp. 1105-1111
Lockrem, L. L. (2005). Hanford Containerized Cast Stone Facility Task 1 Process Testing
and Development Final Test Report, RPP-RPT-26742, Rev. 0, CH2M HILL Hanford
Group, Inc., Richland, Washington.
Lorier, T.H., Pareizs, J.M., & Jantzen. C.M. (2005). Single-Pass Flow Through (SPFT) Testing
of Fluidized-Bed Steam Reforming (FBSR) Waste Forms. WSRC-TR-2005-00124,
Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina.
Marshall, D.W., Soelberg, N.R., & Shaber, K.M. (2003). THOR Bench-Scale Steam
Reforming Demonstration. INEEL/EXT-03-00437, Idaho National Engineering and
Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Mason, J.B., McKibbin, J., Ryan, K., & Schmoker, D. (2003). Steam Reforming Technology for
Denitration and Immobilization of DOE Tank Wastes. Proceedings of Waste
Management 2003, Tucson, Arizona, February 2003
Mattigod, S.V., McGrail, B.P., McCready, D.E., Wang, L.-Q., Parker, K.E., & Young, J.S.
(2006). Synthesis and Structure of Perrhenate Sodalite. Microporous and Mesoporous
Materials, Vol. 91, No. 1-3, pp. 139-144
McGrail, B.P., Pierce, E.M., Schaef, H.T., Rodriguez, E.A., Steele, J.L., Owen, A.T., &
Wellman, D.M. (2003a). Laboratory Testing of Bulk Vitrified and Steam Reformed
Low-Activity Waste Forms to Support a Preliminary Risk Assessment for an
Integrated Disposal Facility. PNNL-14414, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,
Richland, Washington.
McGrail, B.P., Schaef, H.T., Martin, P.F., Bacon, D.H., Rodriguez, E.A., McCready, D.E.,
Primak, A.N,. & Orr, R.D. (2003b). Initial Evaluation of Steam-Reformed Low
Activity Waste for Direct Land Disposal. PNWD-3288, Pacific Northwest Division,
Richland, Washington.
Nimlos, M.R. & Milne, T.A. (1992). Direct Mass-Spectrometric Studies of the Destruction of
Hazardous Wastes. 1. Catalytic Steam Re-Forming of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons.
Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 545-552
Olson, A.L., Soelberg, N.R., Marshall, D.W., & Anderson, G.L. (2004a). Fluidized Bed Steam
Reforming of Hanford LAW Using THOR Mineralizing Technology. INEEL/EXT-
04-02492, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls,
Idaho.
Olson, A.L., Soelberg, N.R., Marshall, D.W., & Anderson, G.L. (2004b). Fluidized Bed Steam
Reforming of INEEL SBW Using THOR Mineralizing Technology, INEEL/EXT-04-
02564, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls,
Idaho.
Olson, A.L., Soelberg, N.R., Marshall, D.W., & Anderson, G.L. (2005). Mineralizing, Steam
Reforming Treatment of Hanford Low-Activity Waste. Proceedings of Waste
Management 2005, Tucson, Arizona, February 2005
Pareizs, J.M., Jantzen, C.M., & Lorier, T.H. (2005). Durability Testing of Fluidized Bed Steam
Reformer (FBSR) Waste Forms for High Sodium Wastes at Hanford and Idaho (U).
WSRC-TR-2005-00102, Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina.
Russell, R.L., Schweiger, M.J., Westsik Jr, J.H., Hrma, P.R., Smith, D.E., Gallegos, A.B.,
Telander, M.R., & Pitman, S.G. (2006). Low Temperature Waste Immobilization

Radioactive Waste

262
Testing. PNNL-16052 Rev 1, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland,
Washington.
Ryan, K., Mason, J.B., Evans, B., Vora, V., & Olson, A. (2008). Steam Reforming Technology
Demonstration for Conversion of DOE Sodium-Bearing Tank Waste at Idaho
National Laboratory into a Leach-Resistant Alkali Aluminosilicate Waste Form.
Proceedings of Waste Management 2008, Phoenix, Arizona, February 2008
Schreiber, H.D. (2007). Redox of Model Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Systems Final
Report Report Subcontract AC59529T, VMI Research Laboratories, Lexington,
Virginia.
Singh, D., Wagh, A.S., Cunnane, J.C., & Mayberry, J.L. (1997). Chemically Bonded
Phosphate Ceramics for Low-Level Mixed-Waste Stabilization. Journal of
Environmental Science and Health Part A-Environmental Science and Engineering &
Toxic and Hazardous Substance Control, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 527-541
Singh, D., Wagh, A.S., Tlustochowicz, M., & Jeong, S.Y. (1998). Phosphate Ceramic Process
for Macroencapsulation and Stabilization of Low-Level Debris Wastes. Waste
Management, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 135-143
Soelberg, N.R., Marshall, D.W., Bates, S.O., & Taylor, D.D. (2004a). Phase 2 THOR Steam
Reforming Tests for Sodium-Bearing Waste Treatment. INEEL/EXT-04-01493,
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Soelberg, N.R., Marshall, D.W., Bates, S.O., & Siemer, D.D. (2004b) SRS Tank 48H Steam
Reforming Proof-of-Concept Test Report, INEEL/EXT-03-01118, Rev 1, Idaho
National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Spence, R.D., & Shi, C. (2005). Stabilization and Solidification of Radioactive and Mixed Waste.
CRC Press, ISBN: 9781566704441, Boca Raton, Florida
TTT. (2009). Report for Treating Hanford LAW and WTP SW Simulants: Pilot Plant
Mineralizing Flowsheet. RT-21-002, THOR Treatment Technologies, LLC, Denver,
Colorado.
Vora, V., Olson, A., Mason, B., Evans, B., & Ryan, K. (2009). Steam Reforming Technology
Demonstration for Conversion of Hanford LAW Tank Waste and LAW Recycle
Waste into a Leach Resistant Alkali Aluminosilicate Waste Form. Proceedings of
Waste Management 2009, Phoenix, Arizona, March 2009
Wagh, A.S., Strain, R. Jeong, S.Y., Reed, D., Krause, T., & Singh, D. (1997). Stabilization of
Rocky Flats Pu-Contaminated Ash within Chemically Bonded Phosphate Ceramics.
Journal of Nuclear Materials, Vol. 265, No. 3, pp. 295-307
Wagh, A.S., Jeong, S.Y., & Singh, D. (1997). High Strength Phosphate Cement Using
Industrial Byproduct Ashes. In: Proceedings of First International Conference, ed. A.
Azizinamini et al., American Society of Civil Engineers. pp. 542-553
Williams, M.R., Jantzen, C.M., Burket, P.R., Crawford, C.L., Daniel, W.E., Aponte, C., &
Johnson, C. (2010). 2009 Pilot Scale Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming Testing Using
the THOR (THermal Organic Reduction) Process: Analytical Results for Tank 48H
Organic Destruction. Proceedings of Waste Management 2010, Phoenix, Arizona,
October 2010
12
Experimental Verification
of Solidification Stress Theory
Charles Solbrig, Matthew Morrison and Kenneth Bateman
Idaho National Laboratory
USA
1. Introduction
Two Ceramic Waste Forms (CWFs) have been formed in this work without the benefit of an
analysis tool that could stop large scale cracking that occurs during solidification. Both
showed severe cracking. This chapter describes a new theory for a stress not modeled
before, termed here, the solidification stress. This stress is set-into a glass or ceramic cylinder
being formed during the time period of solidification. It is due to the temperature gradient
existing during solidification. This stress is in addition to the normal thermal stress
calculated in a solid due to a temperature gradient.
This chapter describes 1) how this stress can be controlled to prevent damage, 2) the
methods available to measure this stress, and 3) the significant damage which occurred
during the formation of the two large ceramic cylinder prototype high level nuclear waste
forms, and 4) measurements made during CWF2 that verified the theory can predict the
conditions under which cracking occurs.
This research program is being conducted to develop a crack-free ceramic waste form (CWF)
to be used for long term encasement of fission products and actinides resulting from
electrorefining of spent nuclear fuel. A crack-free waste form should have more resistance to
leaching than one with many cracks. The fission products are deposited in electrofiner
electrolyte salt as a byproduct of the removal of uranium and actinides process during
reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. The encasement is accomplished by absorbing the
radioactive salts into zeolite, mixing the zeolite-salt mixture with glass frit in a stainless steel
cylindrical can, heating to a temperature range (600 C) where consolidating and melting
take place, then further heating up to a completely molten state at 915 C causing the zeolite
to convert to sodalite glass matrix, and then the sodalite glass matrix is solidified by cooling
it through solidification (~625 C), then further cooling to near ambient temperature. If
cracking occurs which is usually the case, it will occur during the cooldown phase which is a
detriment to long term encasement.
In this research, a model was developed that proposes a permanent stress develops, called
solidification stress, when the melt solidifies and that this stress, if large enough, will cause
failure as the CWF nears room temperature. This stress is proportional to the rate of cooling

Radioactive Waste 264
during solidification. This stress is in addition to the thermal stress which develops during
rapid cooldown of a solid. Two CWFs have been formed in this research, both of which
encountered severe cracking. Sufficient data was recorded on the second to test the theory
developed. Recording of temperatures and the cracking sounds during CWF2 cooldown
shows that the cracking is from this newly recognized stress and not the thermal stress. The
theory was provisionally verified on two small scale experiments and were reported on in
Solbrig and Bateman, 2010. A third CWF formation is planned that is predicted by the
theory to be crack free if the specification is followed.
The solidification stress is of opposite sign of the thermal stress and remains constant after
solidification. Its derivation is reported on in Solbrig and Bateman (2010) and summarized
in this chapter. The theory predicts that cracking of the CWF would occur at low
temperatures if caused by solidification stress but at high temperatures (somewhat below
the solidification temperature) if caused by thermal stress. To reduce solidification stress,
the cooldown rate during solidification should be reduced. Recording cracking sounds
confirm the existence of this solidification stress since cracking occurred during the low
temperature phase of the cooldown. A cooldown rate history is proposed that should
eliminate cracking in the next CWF formed.
CWF2 is a prototype vertical ceramic waste cylinder formed over a period of 10 days by
heating a mixture of 75% zeolite, 25% glass frit in an argon atmosphere furnace through
melting to 925 C and then cooling through solidification to room temperature. It is
approximately 1 m high, 0.5 m in diameter, weighs about 400 kg, and is formed in a stainless
steel can 0.5 cm thick. This cylinder developed many cracks on cooldown. At least 15 loud
cracks were recorded over a period of 4 days at the end of cooldown when the temperatures
were below 400 C, the last being after the CWF was removed from the furnace when the
surface temperature was below 100 C.
The CWF2 surface and centerline temperatures at mid height were recorded which
allowed the stresses to be calculated. The timing of the cracks was compared to the
time the calculated total stress exceeded the tensile stress limit and verified that the cause
of the cracking was solidification stress and not thermal stress. Since the CWF is encased
in a can in a furnace, the cracks cannot be easily observed but can be detected with
sound measurements. Similarly, the stress cannot be measured but only estimated with
analysis. Destructive examination of the CWF after cooldown was used to show the large
amount of the cracking which occurred. It appeared to be initiated mainly in the inner
region which is further evidence the cracking is due to solidification stress since
solidification stress is tensile in the inner region and thermal stress is compressive in the
inner region.
2. Theoretical background
The first part of this section describes some of the significant experimental work which has
been reported on in the literature. The second part of this section summarizes the theory
developed in this work which describes why the solidification stress is formed during
solidification and how the solidification stress causes the CWF to form significant cracks
near room temperature as they cool down.

Experimental Verification of Solidification Stress Theory 265
2.1 Background experimental work
Faletti and Ethridge (1986) summarized the work done by several investigators who formed
full-size waste form cylinders and supplied enough information for analysis of the results.
The cylinder sizes were 50 to 60 cm in diameter and 150 to 300 cm in length and were either
ceramic or glass. This is the size of the cylinders scheduled to be stored in U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE) waste storage containers. Glass or ceramics have the characteristic of
failing at their elastic limit. Due to nature of ceramics and glass, they crack to relieve tension
instead of yield. Even though they are contained in a stainless steel can 0.5 cm thick, it is
assumed that the can will rust away in a hundred years or so that the CWF will be exposed
to the environment after this.
The Pacific Northwest Laboratories (PNL) report shows the cross section of a 60-cm-diam
cylinder that illustrated considerable stress damage that occurred during cooling. The report
goes on to state that all cylinders show similar damage during formation. One of the few
known cases of crack-free waste forms were 15 cm (6 in.) formed by the continuous melt
process, as indicated by Slate et al.(1978). Faletti and Ethridge (1986) state that cooling can
proceed at any practical rate until the glass reaches its annealing point of 500 to 550 C.
Further cooling would have to proceed on the order of 1 C/h implying nearly 3 weeks to
cool a 60-cm-diam (24 in.) canister.
The formation of the cylinders reported on here is different than the PNL cylinders since the
zeolite glass mixture consolidates as it heats up. A heavy weight is placed on the CWF as it
heats up to compress it and keep voids from forming during consolidation. By the time it is
ready for cooling, the zeolite has reacted to sodalite and has consolidated by a factor of more
than 2.
2.2 Solidification stress model
For the convenience of the reader, the equation development from Solbrig and Bateman (2010)
is summarized in this section. Only the axial stresses are modeled. The circumferential and
axial stresses are equal on the circumference at the-plane so considering one of them is
approximately equivalent to considering both. The radial stresses are small.
Thermal Stress: To understand the solidification stress model, it is first necessary to review
how thermal stresses are modeled that are induced in a solid by a temperature distribution
in a non prestressed cylindrical solid. This development is consistent with Timoshenko and
Goodier (1970). Non prestressed means that there is no residual stress when the solid is at a
uniform temperature. The cylinder is modeled as a series of concentric annuli. Each
cylindrical annulus is intrinsically attached to the ones on either side of it. Each annulus
temperature is uniform in the axial direction but the temperature of each is different in the
radial direction. The length of the cylinder at any time is determined by length predicted
using the Coefficient of thermal Expansion (CTE) based on the average temperature of the
cylinder. Due to the intrinsic attachment of the annuli, the length of each is forced to be
equal to the average length. Thus those annuli with temperatures above (T
avg
) are forced to
be shorter in length than their unattached thermally expanded length should be so they are
in compression and those below T
avg
are forced to be longer so are in tension.
Thus, the amount that annulus i must be elongated to reach the average length, L, is

Radioactive Waste 266

( )
expansion
i avg i
i
L L T T
where thermal coe f f icient
T Temperature of annulus i

=
=
=
(1)
The stress,
i
, induced in an annulus elongated by a length, L
i
, where a positive number
signifies tension, is

1
'
'
i
i
L E
L
where E Young s Modulus
Poisson s ratio

=
=
(2)
These two equations are combined to get the axial thermal stress at the mid-plane at any r as
( )
1
i avg i
E
T T

(3)
This equation indicates that tensile stress in a cooling cylinder is largest at the surface. It
should be noted that the circumferential surface stress is the same as the axial. So to get the
magnitude of the total stress on the surface, this equation should be multiplied by the
square root of two. For simplicity, in this chapter, the equivalent stress limit is applied in the
axial direction only.
Solidification Stress is a Set-in Stress: A pre-stress is defined as a stress that exists when
the temperature is uniform. A pre-stress induced by solidification is referred to here as a set-
in stress. The total stress at any location is equal to the set-in stress plus the thermal stress.
The stress which will cause the CWF to crack occurs during the cooldown. The cooling
process starts from the highest temperature attained in the formation process at 925 C
where the CWF is all liquid and has no stress. As it is cooled, it eventually begins to
effectively solidify at T
s
(around 625 C) where the viscosity becomes very large. During the
cooling, the surface temperature is the lowest T because it is being cooled from the outside.
Therefore, in terms of the model, the outside annulus solidifies first, then the second one in
solidifies, followed by the third, etc. Each annulus is the same length when it solidifies L(T
s
).
When the second annulus inward solidifies, the outer is shorter due to thermal contraction
of the outside annulus as is has cooled below T
s
. The two annuli are intrinsically connected
along length L(T
0
) where T
0
is the temperature of the outer cylinder when the second one in
inward solidifies. Therefore, these two cylinders are intimately connected along the length
L(T
0
). The length not connected between these two annuli is defined here as the Length
deficit, L(T
s
)-L(T
0
).
As each successive cylinder solidifies, the solid one outward from it is shorter than it is. The
length deficit for each annulus is the length not connected to the next outer annulus. When
the whole cylinder reaches room temperature, the length deficits add up to form a dome
shape. The dome height is larger with higher cooling rates. The length deficit causes a set-
in stress when the temperature becomes uniform because all of the annuli are forced to be
the same length. This stress is defined here as the solidification stress.

Experimental Verification of Solidification Stress Theory 267
Figure 1 shows an exaggerated drawing of the total length deficit as a function of radius
where the centerline total length deficit is shown at the left and the surface at the right.. The
length deficits are small and would be difficult to see if the total annulus length were drawn
instead of just the deficit. The total length deficit at any radius, r, is the sum of the individual
length deficits from the outside and summing inward to radius, r. Each annulus is attached
to the annulus on its inside but not along the length deficit.

Fig. 1. Length Deficits.
The total length deficit at any r is

O
r
d
S
R
dL
L dr
dr
+
=

(4)
where the derivative is evaluated on the outer side of solidification front, s
+
, as the
solidification front moves inward.
In a manner similar to the length deficit, a temperature deficit is defined as

1 i s i
T T T
+
= (5)
where the annulus at r
i
has just solidified, and T
i+1
is the Temperature of the annulus at r
i+1

at that time.
The total temperature deficit at any r is defined as

O
r
d
S
R
dT
T dr
dr
+
=

(6)

Radioactive Waste 268
where the derivative is evaluated on the outer side of the solidification front, s
+
as the
solidification from moves inward.
The temperature deficit is related to the length deficit by coefficient of thermal expansion
as presented in equation 1. Substituting the length deficit into the equation for axial
stress results in an equation for the set-in stress in terms of the temperature deficit
distribution as:
( )
1
i avg i
E
T T

(7)
The negative sign in front of the term on the right side of this equation is due to the fact that
the change in the connective length is the negative of the change in the length deficit.
Note that both the thermal and solidification stresses are proportional to the CTE. Since the
tensile stress at the failure limit is also calculated using the CTE, the stress limit is
proportional to CTE as well.
3. Large scale experimental results Verification of theory
CWF2 is a prototype vertical ceramic waste cylinder formed over a period of 10 days by
heating a mixture of 75% zeolite, 25% glass frit in an argon atmosphere furnace through
melting to 925 C and then cooling through solidification to room temperature. It is
approximately 1 m high, 0.5 m in diameter, weighs about 400 kg, and is formed in a
stainless steel can 0.5 cm thick. This cylinder developed many cracks on cooldown. At
least 15 loud cracks were recorded over a period of 4 days at the end of cooldown when
the temperatures had decreased below 400 C, the last occurred after the CWF was cool
enough that it had been removed from the furnace. This section describes the results of
this test.
3.1 Methods used to estimate stress
Stress cannot be measured during or after cooldown. Cracks cannot be visually observed
as they occurr because the CWF is encased in a stainless steel can and is in a furnace. Two
methods used here to assess the stress: sound recordings and destructive examination.
Although the cracking cannot be seen, the timing cracks can be detected with sound
measurements. The CWF2 surface and centerline temperatures at mid height were
measured which allowed the stresses caused by these temperature histories to be
calculated using the theory. The timing of the cracks was compared to the time the
calculated total stress exceeded the tensile stress limit and verified that the cause of the
cracking was solidification stress and not thermal stress. So although the stress in the hot
CWF cannot be measured, it can be estimated with the theory presented in this chapter. In
order to know if the stress calculated will cause damage, it is necessary to know the
failure limit. Subsection 3.2 discusses the tensile failure stress for the INL CWF and the
method of measuring it. Subsection 3.3 presents the data obtained for the cracking sound
recordings which were used to verify the theory. The next section (3.4) describes the
temperature data that was used to estimate the stresses. Section 3.5 then presents the
stresses calculated from these temperatures and determines the time of failure and

Experimental Verification of Solidification Stress Theory 269
compares these times to the times at which cracking sounds were recorded. Destructive
examination of the CWF after cooldown (described in Subsection 3.6) determined the
location of cracking. It was initiated mainly in the inner region which is evidence the
cracking is due to solidification stress.
3.2 Tensile stress limit measurements in CWF2
The tensile failure stress and the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) values in the
above analysis have been estimated at 82.4 mpa (12000 psi) and 45x10
-6
/C. The stress
limit used is based experiments done on glass cylinders, Bateman and Solbrig (2008)a&b.
The CTE was measured on CWF surrogates, Bateman and Capson (2003). The work
described here is the first attempt to measure the tensile failure stress of the INL CWF and
was made on CWF2 formed material. It was cut out of a piece removed from CWF2 at
about the 1 foot high level. This region had cracked into many pieces during formation.
The removed piece was a pie shaped wedge of 75 degrees, a radius of 25.4 cm (10 in), and
a depth of about 0.94 cm (2.375 in.). A rectangular beam which was 0.34 cm (0.875 in)
thick and 0.94 cm (2.375 in) wide was cut out of the wedge by the A Core Company.
Due to the difficulty of cutting the material without breaking it, the beam was only about
8 inches long with uneven ends.
The method of determining the failure stress was to install the beam as a cantilever
and apply a sufficient load on the cantilever to cause failure. In order to apply enough
moment to reach the failure stress a metal extension was attached to the beam as shown in
Figure 2.




Fig. 2. Metal Extension attached to the CWF2 Beam
The exposed part of the CWF beam (about 2.54 cm ,1 in) was inserted into a vertically wall
mounted vise as shown in Figure 3. The metal extension was 1.81 m (6 ft) long with a center
of gravity of 0.9 m (3 ft) and clamped the CWF material to provide a cantilever. Weights
were placed on the beam at the center of gravity (Figure 3). Weights were added until
failure.

Radioactive Waste 270



Fig. 3. Weight placed on the beam 0.9 m (3 ft) from the vise
The first two pieces of the beam that broke off in the first two tests are shown in Figure 4.
The longer one on the right was the first one broken off. The break planes were at about 5
degrees less than a 90 degree break.

Experimental Verification of Solidification Stress Theory 271



Fig. 4. Second (left) and First (right) Failed Sections
The maximum horizontal tensile stress for a given load can be calculated with an equation
derived in Timoshenko and Mcaugh (1949). The stress calculated with the load at failure is
the tensile failure stress limit. The maximum occurs at the top surface at the cantilever
connection with the beam loaded at the end. The maximum tensile stress at the wall with
the beam anchored as a cantilever is

3
*
,
/2,
*
,
12
Mc
Stress
I
where M Total Moment about thecantilever support L P
L Lengthof thebeam P total force onthe endof thebeam
c half the height of thebeam h h height of thebeam
b h
I Vertical moment of inertia b widthof beam
=
= =
= =
= = =
= = =
(8)
Substituting the moment of inertia and moment into stress equation A.1 yields

2
6PL
Stress
bh
=
(9)
Three tests were run. The first three were successful and showed a range of values for
failure tensile stress. The fourth may have been too short to get a realistic test. It seemed to
crumble rather than break. The measurements are summarized in Table.1. The second and
third tests are deemed to be the most accurate with the load reported for Test 2 being
somewhat less than that which caused failure and the load for Test 3 being somewhat
greater than the failure load. The accuracy of the load causing failure was limited by the use
of discrete weights for the loading rather than a continuous loading device and the lack of
additional samples to measure.

Radioactive Waste 272
Date Test
Failure
load
kg (lb)
Beam
Weight
kg (lb)
Total
Load
kg (lb)
Lever
arm
m (in)
Comment
6/21/10 1 4 (8.8) 1.36 (3) 5.36(11.8) 0.9(36) First test.
6/22/10 2 6 (13.2) 1.36 (3) 7.36(16.2) 0.9(36) Load <than failure
6/23/10 3 8 (17.6) 1.36 (3) 9.36(20.6) 0.9(36) Load >than failure
6/24/10 4 2 (4.4) 1.36 (3) 3.36 (7.4) 0.9(36) Crumbled, short
Table 1. Results of CWF2 Failure Measurements
The failure stress was calculated for the above experiments (Table.2). Neglecting the fourth
test, the results show a failure yield stress of between between 9.66 mpa (1402 psi) and 16.9
mpa (2447 psi). The first test is a bit questionable, so a value of 15.2 mpa (2200 psi is
reasonable. The last line was added to the table which shows that the beam would have had
to support over 100 lbs to have a yield stress of 12000 psi. This is over 5 times as great as the
loads which actually caused failure.

Test
Total Load
kg (lb)
Failure Stress
Mpa (psi)
1 5.36 (11.8) 9.6 (1402)
2 7.36 (16.2) 13.2 (1924)
3 9.36 (20.6) 16.9 (2447)
4 3.36 (7.4) 6.1 (879)
12 k Load 45.9 (101) 82.4 (12000)
Table 2. Failure Stresses Calculated for the Above Failure Loads
Thus, the testing has shown that the tensile yield stress of the sample removed from CWF2
is about 15.2 mpa (2200 psi). This is much lower than the 82.4 mpa (12000 psi) used in the
model. However, the calculation of the stress is proportional to the Coefficient of Thermal
Expansion. The CTE value used in the model is quite high for a ceramic, 45 x 10
-6
/C, and
was chosen in order to agree with measured data on contraction during cooldown, Bateman
and Capson (2003). . It is the ratio of the CTE and the stress limit that is the actual criterion
in determining failure If the CTE is actually lower on the order of what is usual for a glass
or ceramic of about 9 x 10
-6
/C, then CWF2 would have failed when the total stress reached
16.5 mpa (2400 psi) which is close to the above measured value.
One other factor which should be considered is the actual state of the sample tested. It was
taken from the outside region of the CWF which would have been in compression during
cooldown before failure. There may have been fine cracks in the tested material because of
all the damage which occurred. That is, the test may have been conducted on flawed
material and perhaps a higher value would be obtained with a specimen from a CWF that
does not crack during cooldown.

Experimental Verification of Solidification Stress Theory 273
3.3 Sound recordings and timing of the cracking
A recording of the sound from the first crack recorded is shown in Figure 5. Time is plotted
on the horizontal axis and proceeds from left to right. Sound power is plotted on the vertical
axis. Background noise is recorded until the crack occurs evidenced by a large increase in
power. The power then decreases exponentially back to the background level.

Fig. 5. Sound Pressure of the First Crack Recorded.
All of the recordings looked similar but the power of the crack sound varied from crack to
crack relative to the background noise. In general, the sound level decreased with each
succeeding crack. The crack sounded like a loud gunshot even though the CWF was
encased in a furnace with a insulating wall one foot thick. The total time duration in
Figure 5 is about 2 seconds. The first crack occurred when the centerline temperature was
420 C and the surface temperature was about 400 C. Cracking continued down to near
room temperature. The last crack occurred after the CWF had been removed from the
furnace.
The timing of the cracks is included in Table B.1 along with the temperature data. The cracks
do not occur at evenly spaced intervals. They usually occur several hours apart. The
cracking analysis presented in this chapter applies to an uncracked cylinder and the
cracking is probably relieving some of the stress. However, the theory predicts that the total
stress continues to increase as the temperature decreases which explains why the cracking
continues. The decrease of the sound power as cracking proceeds seems to indicate that the

Radioactive Waste 274
stress in the remaining pieces is actually decreasing. The last crack occurred almost two
days after the previous one and occurred after the CWF was removed from the furnace.


Month/Day Time
Hours
since
start.
Time
between
cracks
Sound
level
(db)*
Center-line
Temperature of
CWF (C)**
Heat up 3/22 2:20 PM 0 NA 70
Cooldown 3/28 7:20 AM 137 NA 920
Crack 1 3/30 10:58 PM 200.6 91 420
Crack 2 3/31 1:28 AM 202.1 1.5 88 405
Crack 3 3/31 6:31 AM 208.2 6.1 91 382
Crack 4 3/31 3:11 PM 216.9 8.7 87 335
Crack 5 3/31 4:12 PM 217.9 1.0 85 325
Crack 6 4/01 12:55 AM 226.6 8.7 89 300
Crack 7 4/01 6:39 PM 244.3 17.7 81 220
Crack 8 4/01 7:49 PM 245.5 1.2 83 210
Crack 9 4/02 12:47 AM 250.5 5.0 190
Crack 10 4/02 2:11 AM 251.9 1.4 170
Crack 11 4/02 7:56 AM 257.6 5.8 150
Crack 12 4/02 10:39 AM 260.3 2.7 130
Crack 13 4/02 6:01 PM 267.7 7.4 110
Crack 14 4/03 10:57 AM 284.6 16.9 90
Crack 15 4/05 9:29 AM 331.2 46.5 70
* Sound level relative to a reference of 100 dB
**Temperatures estimated for Cracks 9 to 15
Table 3. Timing and Sound Levels of Cracking
3.4 Temperature data for CWF2
A cooling rate program was specified for the formation of CWF2 which was designed to
eliminate cracking. This program was overridden by the protection program for the coolant
blower so that severe cracking did occur. In the following section, the stress versus time in
the CWF from the temperature data is estimated using the stress theory developed above.
Then in a later section, the stress developed is compared to the stress limit and to the timing
at which cracking occurred to demonstrate that not only does solidification stress exist but
that it and not the thermal stress is responsible for cracking the CWF.
Surface and centerline temperatures were measured at the mid-plane. The surface mid-
plane temperature history was then matched (by adjusting the heat transfer coefficients
throughout the cooldown) in the CWF heat transfer, densification model developed in this
work. Once this temperature history was matched with the code output, the temperature
distributions in the solid were known. Then the stresses, thermal, solidification, and total,
determined by the above equation could be calculated for the CWF. Then the cracking times
were included on the stress plots. The cracking sounds all occurred when the calculated
total stresses were above the stress limit. Although the thermal stress component exceeded

Experimental Verification of Solidification Stress Theory 275
the stress limit early in the cooldown, cracking was not recorded during this time. When
cracking occurred, the thermal stress was below the limit.
The mid-plane temperature measurements versus time made during the cooldown of CWF2
are shown in Figure 6. The centerline and surface temperatures are shown in this figure as
well as the furnace wall temperature. In addition to the measured temperatures, the
temperature history prescribed for the cooldown which should have kept the stress below
the limit are shown. The measured rate of temperature drop (EXPerimental) through
solidification is much more rapid than the desired (SPECification) curves. This results in a
much larger temperature drop from the center to the surface than desired.

Fig. 6. Experimental and Specification Temperatures at Mid-Plane
Note that the centerline temperature may be distinguished from the surface temperature
since it is always greater than the surface temperature. The time scale in Figure 6 was
adjusted so that zero time corresponds to the time that cooldown starts. It is 143 hours
after the start of the initial heatup. The plan was to start cooldown 12 hours earlier. From
Figure 6, it is seen that cooldown did start 12 hours earlier but after 4 hours the CWF
cooldown and heat transfer from the CWF aborted, resulting in the surface and center
temperatures equilibrating over the next hour. This was caused by the coolant blower
tripping off due to a temperature limit (100 C) being exceeded. It stayed off for about 8
hours but then the fan restarted so CWF cooldown started again (at zero time in Figure 6).
The furnace wall continued cooling during the time that the fan was off because the
control system kept the heating coils off. As temperatures decreased, the pump stayed on
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
-20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Time after Start of Cooldown, hours
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
,

C
Exp Spec
Temperature Vcast Fiber,
Ceramic Fiber Insulation
interface at r = 47.3 cm
CWF Surface
Temperature
Exp Spec
CWF Centerline
Temperature
Exp Spec

Radioactive Waste 276
for longer periods of time causing the average coolant flow to increase resulting in more
heat being removed from the CWF. The largest heat removal occurred during
solidification causing a large set-in stress.
To more clearly show the cooling rate problem encountered in CWF2, the temperature
difference between the center and the surface is plotted in Figure 7. This difference during
solidification is proportional to the solidification stress which is set-in.. The calculation
specified that the temperature difference should decrease in the solidification range
(about 625 C). The data shows the CWF2 temperature difference actually increased
significantly.

Fig. 7. Temperature difference at Mid-Plane
In fact, the largest differences occur during solidification. The specification required the
temperature difference to be less than 40 C but the data show it was nearly 80 C. This
temperature difference resulted in CWF2 cracking. With the successful match of the
surface temperature the other quanties of interest were available from the code. In
particular, the centerline temperature, the radial temperature profile, and stresses
developed, both solidification and thermal as well as total were available as code output.
Figure 8 shows the agreement between the calculated temperatures on the surface and
center of the CWF and the data. The calculations are a bit high in the CWF center (the
higher temperature curve in Figure 8) at high temperature and a bit low at low
temperature but the agreement is good in the important solidification region (between 725
C and 525 C). Below 300 C, the discrepancy between measured and calculated is not
important because the thermal stress will continue to decrease and eventually the total
stress will be just the solidification stress.
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Time after Start of Cooldown, hours
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

D
i
f
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
,

C
Experiment
Calculated Specifications
CWF Centerline minus surface Temperature
Solidification
occurs

Experimental Verification of Solidification Stress Theory 277

Fig. 8. Comparison of Calculated Center and Surface Temperatures to Data
(CWFformBig P01-CWF2.xls)
3.5 Comparison of calculated stress to the times cracking occurred
The next three figures show the thermal stress, the solidification stress and the total stress
respectively output from the above mentioned code after the surface temperatures were
matched. In each figure, the estimated tensile limit is included 82.4 mpa (12000 psi).
The thermal stress calculated through the mid-plane for this cooldown transient is shown
in Figure 9. The stresses are shown at ten evenly spaced radial increments (spaced about
2.5 cm apart) with the center line stress being the largest negative value or compression
and the outer surface being the largest positive value or tension. Thus, the thermal stress
predicts that the stress will be in tension in the outer radial region of the CWF so that
cracking would be expected to start in the outer radial region if solidification stress did
not exist. In fact, the thermal stress at the outer radius is seen to exceed the tensile limit
from 32 hours to 48 hours. The thermal stresses slowly decrease after that. If thermal
stress were the cause of cracking in the CWF, it would be expected that cracking would
occur during this time period. As mentioned sound measurements recorded 15 loud
cracks during the course of the cooldown. The time of the first six cracks is indicated in
the figure with numbers from 1 to 6. The first one occurred at 61 hours, much later than
the 32 to 48 hours time interval when the thermal stress was above the tensile limit. Since
all the cracks occurred significantly after the thermal stress reduced below the tensile
limit, it cannot be responsible for the CWF damage. As mentioned previously only axial
stresses are discussed in this chapter. Circumferential stresses are the same magnitude.
Radial stresses are very small.
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
0 20 40 60 80 100
Time from Cooldown (hours)
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
,

C
Calculations
Data

Radioactive Waste 278

Fig. 9. Thermal Stress at the mid-plane in the CWF (Note: 10000 psi=68.9 mpa)
Figure 10 shows the solidification stress calculated using the method developed in Solbrig
and Bateman (2010) and summarized in the previous theory section. It develops while the
CWF is solidifying and occurs because while one layer of the CWF is solidifying, it attaches
itself to an adjacent solidified layer of a shorter length. As the solid then is cooled down to
room temperature, all these different lengths are forced to the same length causing stresses.

Fig. 10. Solidification Stress of the CWF (Note: 10000 psi=68.9 mpa)
Thermal Stress
-25000
-20000
-15000
-10000
-5000
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
0 20 40 60 80 100
Time from start of Cooldown (hours)
T
e
n
s
i
l
e

S
t
r
e
s
s

(
p
s
i
)
<
-
-
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n





T
e
n
s
i
o
n
-
-
>
Tensile Limit
center of cylinder
midway
outer radius
Timing of cracks
1 2 3 45 6
Solidification Stress
-25000
-20000
-15000
-10000
-5000
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
0 20 40 60 80 100
Time from start of Cooldown (hours)
T
e
n
s
i
l
e

S
t
r
e
s
s

(
p
s
i
)
<
-
-
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n





T
e
n
s
i
o
n
-
-
>
Tensile Limit
center of cylinder
midway
outer radius
Timing of cracks
1 2 3 45 6

Experimental Verification of Solidification Stress Theory 279
The solidification stress developed is dependent on the temperature profile during
solidification but is independent of temperature profile during the remainder of the
cooldown. Note that the solidification stress is of the opposite sign than the thermal stess
and solidification stress and thermal stress subtract from each other.
Once the solidification stress develops, it is constant. The maximum solidification stress is
about 137.9 mpa (20000 psi) which is well over the tensile stress limit of 82.4 mpa (12000
psi). The total stress is the sum of the thermal and the solidification stress, and since they
are of opposite sign, the thermal stress partially cancels out the solidification stress
especially during the early portion of cooldown in the solid phase. The thermal stress
during the early period is responsible for keeping the total stress less than the tensile
limit. But the thermal stress decreases as the temperature decreases, it cancels out less and
less of the solidification stress as the temperature decreases and the temperature profile
flattens out. When the temperature becomes uniform, the thermal stress is zero so the
total stress is then equal to the 137.9 mpa (20000 psi) solidification stress at the cylinder
surface at the mid-plane of the CWF. This explains why the CWF cracks at low
temperature instead of high temperature where the thermal stress is high. That is, the
combination of the solidification stress and the thermal stress results in the total stress
continuing to increase as the average temperature decreases and the temperature profile
flattens out and is highest when it is flat..
Both the solidification stress and the thermal stress are added together to obtain the total
stress shown in Figure 11. The tensile total stress is zero out to 34 hours after the start of
cooldown and then increases as the temperature decreases to room temperature.


Fig. 11. Total Stress of the CWF (Note: 10000 psi=68.9 mpa)
-20000
-15000
-10000
-5000
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
0 20 40 60 80 100
Time from Cooldown (hours)
T
e
n
s
i
l
e

S
t
r
e
s
s

(
p
s
i
)
<
-
-
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n





T
e
n
s
i
o
n
-
-
>
outer radius
center of cylinder
midway
Tensile Limit
Timing of cracks
1 2 3 45 6

Radioactive Waste 280
During the initial solidification period, the two stresses almost cancel each other out. The
solidification stress is always greater than the thermal stress because the solidification
temperature profile is always steeper than the temperature profile. Since the solidification
stress is always in tension in the inner region, the total stress is also in tension in the inner
portion of the cylinder. The total stress at the centerline eventually exceeds the tensile limit
at 68 hours. The timing of the first six cracks is indicated by the upper numbers in Figure 11.
The first cracking sound that was recorded occurred at 61 hours. This figure shows that the
total surface stress is slightly less than the stress limit for the first two cracks but greater
than the stress limit after that. The tensile limit shown is only an estimate and could be as
low as 68.9 mpa (10000 psi). The damage continued all the way down to room temperature.
In all, 15 loud cracks were heard including the last one which occurred after the CWF was at
a low enough temperature that it was removed it from the furnace. Post test destructive
examination of CWF2 confirmed the considerable damage which occurred.
It should be noted that if the temperature profile were to be flattened out at a high
temperature, say 500 C to ostensibly relieve stress, it would cause the CWF to crack at that
temperature since the thermal stress would have been removed leaving the solidification
stress to exceed the stress limit..
3.6 Visual confirmation of stress
Since it is not possible to measure the stress in the ceramic as it is forming, other means must
be used to determine the stress which occurs during the formation. The timing of the sounds
of cracking versus the calculated stresses is one method of estimating the stresses.
Destructive examination of the resulting CWF is another. Since the CWF is formed in a steel
canister, damage cannot be observed without destructive examination. Consequently, three
one inch thick slices were cut out of both CWF1 and CWF2 with a 4 foot diameter diamond
tipped saw blades. One slice was cut out at the mid section, another near the top, and a
third near the bottom. In addition, an axial slice was cut through the center of the bottom
half of CWF2. The cutting of the CWF did not seem to cause any of the cracking but the
cracking occurred before the cutting. CWF2 was the first experiment that had sound
recordings so similar measurements are not available for CWF1 but cracking seemed to
occur in a similar manner as in CWF2..
Since CWF1 and CWF2 were run with the same cooldown cycle, damage to both were
similar. Visual observation of CWF2 showed as much or more damage than CWF1. In
addition, the axial cut of the lower half of CWF2 showed considerably more damage with
parts of it appearing to be almost rubble.
The most egregious cracking which occurred in CWF1 is shown in Figure 12. This is a
picture of the one inch thick slice cut out of the midsection of CWF1. Both axial and
circumferential stress damage are observed in this picture. The pieces that have fallen out of
the slice are caused by axial stress exceeding the stress limit in the axial direction. The radial
cracks are due to the circumferential stress. Most of the damage occurs in the inner portion
of the CWF confirming that the damage was caused solidification stress which is tensile in
the inner region rather than thermal stress which is compressive in the inner region. Cracks
in the circumferential direction are indications of radial stress. These appear in the outer
region and may be caused by radial thermal stress.

Experimental Verification of Solidification Stress Theory 281


Fig. 12. Cracking in the mid-plane in CWF1
There is less damage to the one inch slices cut out of the top sections and bottom sections.
This may be due to axial temperature gradients causing the highest solidification stresses to
occur in axial middle portions of the CWF.
4. Conclusions
A theory has been developed to model a stress which was posited to develop when a
ceramic solidifies due to the temperature gradient which exists during the solidification
process. An experiment was run which verifies the existence of this stress. Thermal stress
alone would have predicted cracking to occur while temperatures are high but when the
solidification stress is added, the total stress calculation predicts cracking of the CWF will
occur at low temperatures. Cracking sounds were recorded in this experiment and are used
in this chapter to show that the existence of this stress is probable since cracking occurred
during the low temperature phase of the cooldown. Confirmation of this model provides
confidence in the ability of the model to predict a cooldown history for the next CWF
formation which will eliminate cracking. Without including the solidification stress in the
calculation, the low cooling rate needed to prevent cracking would be prescribed when
thermal stress is high instead of during solidification and cracking would not be prevented
with such a prescription.

Radioactive Waste 282
5. Acknowledgement
Work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) under
DOE Idaho Operations Office Contract DE-AC07-05ID14517.
6. References
Bateman, K. J. and Capson, D. D. (2003). Consolidating Electrorefined Spent Nuclear Fuel
Waste: Analysis and Experiment, Proc. ASME Int. Mechanical Engineering Congress
andExposition (IMECE 2003), Washington, D.C., November 1621, 2003. Figure 12.
Bateman, K. J., and Solbrig, C.W. (2008)a. Use of Similarity Analysis on Experiments of
Different Size to Predict Critical Cooling Rates for Large Ceramic Waste Forms,
Proc. 16
th
Int. Conf. Nuclear Engineering (ICONE16), Orlando, Florida, May 1115,
2008, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2008).
Bateman, K. J., and Solbrig, C.W. (2008)b. Stabilizing Glass Bonded Waste Forms
Containing Fission Products Separated from Spent Nuclear Fuel, Sep. Sci. Technol.,
43, 9, 2722 (July, 2008).
Faletti, D. W., and Ethridge, L. J. (1986). A Method for Predicting Cracking in Waste Glass
Canisters, PNL 5947, Pacific Northwest Laboratories (Aug. 1986)
Slate, S. C., Bunnell, L. R., Ross, W. A., Simonen, F. A., and Westsik, J. H. (1978). Stress and
Cracking in High-Level Waste Glass, PNL SA 7369, Pacific Northwest
Laboratories, Dec. 1978.
Solbrig, C. W., and Bateman, K. J. (2010). Modeling Solidification-Induced Stress in Ceramic
Waste Forms Containing Nuclear Wastes, Nuclear Technology, Vol. 172, P 189-203,
Nov, 2010.
Timoshenko, S., and Goodier, J. N. (1970). Theory of Elasticity, Third Edition, McGraw-Hill,
New York, NY (1970).
Timoshenko, S., and MacCullough, G. H. (1949). "Elements of Strength of Materials," Van
Nostrand, 3rd Ed., 1949, (P.122, Eq 49)
13
Cadmium Personnel Doses
in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident
Clinton Wilson, Chad Pope and Charles Solbrig
Idaho National Laboratory
USA
1. Introduction
This chapter estimates airborne cadmium concentrations caused by the facility design base
earthquake (DBE) at the INL Fuel Conditioning Facility which damages the MK-IV
electrorefiner (ER) vessel so that cadmium spills out onto the floor. In addition, the
seismically qualified safety exhaust system (SES) is assumed to fail. The SES is a safety grade
system that is large enough to keep the flow through any DBE caused breach into the cell.
But with SES inoperative, failure of non -seismically qualified cell boundary penetrations
allows release of cadmium vapor to the facility workers, site workers, and general public.
Consequence categories are designated by estimating airborne concentrations at specific
personnel locations and comparing them to applicable exposure guidelines. Without the
failure of the SES, there would be negligible doses to all workers and the general public.
This scenario involves a spill of 587.4 kg of 500C liquid cadmium from the MK-IV
electrorefiner to the argon cell floor. Based on the methods and assumptions described in
this chapter, the maximum potential chemical toxicity consequences of this beyond DBA
release scenario are: Moderate for facility workers, low for collocated workers, low for bus
staging area, and negligible for the off-site public. This safety assessment is concerned only
with the cadmium release. Bounding calculations are used as required in safety assessments
to assure that exposures would not be greater than calculated. Consequences of potential
releases of the radiological materials caused by the DBE alone are analyzed elsewhere.
The main metabolic feature of cadmium is a long biological half-life, resulting in a virtually
irreversible accumulation of this metal in the body throughout life. In non-occupationally
exposed subjects, ingested and inhaled cadmium content in the body increases continuously
with age. Cadmium poses a chemical toxicity hazard to kidneys, lungs, and/or liver if
ingested or inhaled. Repeated or prolonged exposure to cadmium can damage target
organs. Severe over-exposure can result in death.
2. Description of facility
The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Fuel Conditioning Facility (FCF) uses an engineering
scale pyrometallurgical process developed by Argonne National Laboratory (Till and
Chang, 1989 and Till, et. al., 1997) to reprocess metallic fast reactor fuel. It is currently being
used to treat fast reactor spent fuel from the Experimental Breeder Reactor II. Operations in

Radioactive Waste 284
the facility began June 7, 1996. The process is necessary because the Experimental Breeder
Reactor II fuel design uses sodium metal bonding between the fuel pin and stainless steel
cladding. The use of sodium prevents the spent fuel from being suitable for direct geologic
disposal. Since the Experimental Breeder Reactor II fuel is metallic rather than oxide, a
pyrometallurgical process can be used for treatment rather than the traditional solvent
extraction method. Since this is a nuclear facility, safety analyses of possible incidents and
highly unlikely accidents are required in order to license and run such a facility. The design
basis accident (DBA) for this facility is an earthquake which causes failure of pipes that go
through the walls to supply argon, cell atmosphere purification, and remote operations. An
exhaust system was designed and installed to mitigate this accident.
FCF is pictured in Figure 1. FCF is in the foreground with the Experimental Breeder Reactor
II, located in the domed containment building, in the background. The two facilities are
connected, allowing direct spent fuel transfers from the reactor to the processing facility so
that spent fast reactor fuel could be processed and returned to the reactor for further power
generation. Although the mission has changed and the Experimental Breeder Reactor II has
been shut down and decommissioned, the spent fuel from this reactor must still be treated
for long term storage.


Fig. 1. Fuel Conditioning Facility.
The entire pyrometallurgical process is conducted remotely in a hot cell environment.
Figure 2 shows the FCF hot cell layout. The Air Cell, the rectangular portion, contains an air
atmosphere and is used for spent fuel storage, fuel assembly disassembly into individual
rods, and product storage. An operating corridor surrounds the whole facility. The Argon
Cell, the annular portion, contains an inert argon atmosphere which allows metallic fuel
rods to be disassembled and processed. The release of radioactive gases when the fuel rods
are chopped and the exposure of heavy metal to the Argon Cell atmosphere in the form of
chopped fuel or metal extracted in the refining process presents the possibility of
radiological releases due to cell breaches caused by an earthquake. The vessel of the MK-IV
electorefiner shown at the top of Figure 2 is hypothesized to crack open due to the design
basis earthquake causing the cadmium to spill on the floor.

Cadmium Personnel Doses in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 285

Fig. 2. Facility Layout.
The process starts with chopping spent fuel elements and loading them into baskets. Once
filled, a basket (anode) is lowered into an electrorefining vessel (Figure 3) which contains
molten salt (LiCl-KCl) electrolyte and in the case of the MK-IV electrorefiner, a pool of
cadmium below the salt. A stainless steel mandrel (cathode) is also lowered into the salt.
The basket walls are perforated allowing molten salt to contact the element segments.

Fig. 3. Electrorefiner.

Radioactive Waste 286
In the electrorefiner, active metal fission products, transuranic metals, and sodium metal
undergo chemical oxidation and form chlorides. Voltage is applied between the basket,
which serves as an anode, and a rod (mandrel), which serves as a cathode. This causes
metallic uranium in the spent fuel to undergo electro-chemical oxidation, thereby forming
uranium chloride and simultaneously, uranium chloride to undergoes electro-chemical
reduction at the cathode depositing uranium metal dendrite onto the mandrel (Figure 4).
Fission products, plutonium, and other transuranic metals remain as chlorides in the salt
during this step but are removed later on.
Upon removal from the electrorefiner, the uranium metal dendrites are stripped from the
mandrel. These and adhering fission product laden salt are placed in a crucible. The crucible
is transferred to a distillation furnace where the uranium metal melts, forming an ingot, and
the salt vaporizes under vacuum conditions and subsequently condenses in a separate
crucible.

Fig. 4. Cathode Deposit.
Pyroprocessing spent metallic nuclear fuel requires the use of an inert atmosphere to
maintain product purity and because pyrophoric materials, such as the cathode deposits, are
produced at certain points in the process. In addition to providing an inert atmosphere,
radioactive contamination and special nuclear material security concerns can be satisfied by
thick concrete cell walls (1.5 m thick), a subatmospheric inert (i.e., argon) environment,
remote operations, and specialized windows (1.5 m thick) to enable operations with the
remote controls.
The argon cell has airborne and surface radioactive contamination and is therefore of
concern for possibly releasing radioactivity. More importantly, much of the pyrophoric
material is laden with radioactive fission products that can become airborne if the material
begins burning. In addition, the electrorefiner contains cadmium and radioactive fission
product compounds in the electrolyte salt . During normal operation, the cell pressure is
kept at 745 Pa below atmospheric pressure to ensure that no radioactive material leaks out
to the operating corridor which surrounds the cell or the environment.

Cadmium Personnel Doses in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 287
Vertical cross sections of the circular argon cell and below grade support are shown in
Figure 5. A dashed line shows the confinement boundary of the argon cell (that portion of
the boundary which is not considered to fail). The boundary between the cooling cubicles
and argon cell is sheet metal and is assumed to fail when the earthquake occurs if that
cooling cubicle is assumed to have a breach. The failed cooling cubicles initially contain air,
which is assumed to mix with the argon in the cell. The locations of the three potential
breach areas are also indicated. The SES, which initiates when the cell pressure increases to -
248 Pa g, draws on the argon cell and both cooling cubicles. (Note 248 Pa = 1 iwg.)



Fig. 5. Schematic of the Argon Cell.
The purpose of this chapter is to estimate airborne concentrations of cadmium at personnel
locations due to damage to the electrorefiner vessel caused by an earthquake that also
results in penetration of physical boundaries and to assess potential toxicological exposure.
The electrorefiner operates in a radiological cell with an argon environment to prevent metal
fuel reaction with air. It also prevents reaction of the cadmium with air. The accident
proceeds with the electrorefiner splitting open or tipping over due to the design base
earthquake. Thirty centimeters of liquid salt are on top of 15 centimeters of cadmium in a
one meter diameter vessel, at 500 C. The cadmium spills out on the floor of the argon filled
reprocessing cell and is assumed to be uncovered by the salt. The mass transfer of cadmium
to the argon atmosphere takes place in two phases. The first phase occurs as the cadmium is
spilling on the cell floor with the cadmium splashing back up and spreading on floor. The
second phase occurs after the cadmium spreads out over the floor. The floor is concrete

Radioactive Waste 288
covered by a steel liner. Cadmium evaporates from the surface until it solidifies. This
chapter evaluates the mass transfer in each phase and estimates the transport and health
effects to personnel in the facility, to personnel on the site, and to the general public from
exposure to the cadmium.
The cooling system is assumed to trip off due to a power trip which occurs when an
earthquake is sensed. Combustion cannot occur in this facility unless enough oxygen is
introduced into the cell to bring the oxygen concentration above the 4% spontaneous
combustion limit. The facility has a gas purification system which limits the oxygen
concentration to below 50 ppm during normal operation which is far below the 4%
combustion limit of metal fuel exposed to a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen or argon. A
breach of the cell boundary followed by the SES initiation can cause sufficient oxygen to be
introduced into the cell to cause a fire. The flow rate of the SES is large enough to limit or
inhibit the unfiltered outflow of cell atmosphere. It causes the pressure to become
subatmospheric by removing cell atmosphere from the cell. The SES flow is all filtered
through HEPA filters before being exhausted to the atmosphere. It has the adverse effect of
causing significant inflow of air into the cell in sufficient quantity to cause combustion. In
order for people to be exposed to the cadmium from the rupture of the electrorefiner vessel,
the SES must fail to allow outflow of the argon cell atmosphere to the operating corridor or
to the outside of FCF.
3. Cadmium physical, chemical, and toxicity properties
Cadmium is a solid at normal atmospheric temperatures and pressures. Abundance earth's
crust: 150 parts per billion by weight, 30 parts per billion by moles. Cadmium and its
compounds are highly toxic. Cadmium is a soft, malleable, ductile, bluish-white metal,
which is easily cut with a knife. It is an excellent electrical conductor and shows good
resistance to corrosion and attack by chemicals. It is similar in many respects to zinc in its
chemical properties. Cadmium tarnishes in air and is soluble in acids but not in alkalis. The
metal burns in air to form brown cadmium oxide (CdO). Cadmium most often occurs in
small quantities associated with zinc ores, such as sphalerite (ZnS). Greenockite (CdS) is the
only cadmium mineral of any consequence. Almost all cadmium is obtained as a by-product
of zinc, copper, and lead ore refining operations.
Most cadmium is used in batteries (especially rechargeable nickel-cadmium, NiCad,
batteries). As a result of its low coefficient of friction and its high fatigue resistance,
cadmium is used in alloys for bearings. Cadmium is used in low melting alloys and is a
component of many kinds of solder. It is also is used in electroplating. Compounds
containing cadmium are used in black and white television phosphors, and in the blue and
green phosphors for color television picture tubes. Cadmium sulfide is used as a yellow
pigment, and cadmium selenide is used as a red pigment, often called cadmium red.
(Chemicool, 2011).
Cadmium and tellurium can be compounded into CdTe thin-film photovoltaic modules
whose physical characteristics are ideal for solar cell production. They are relatively low cost
and have an almost perfect bandgap for solar energy harvesting. (Chemicool, 2011).

Cadmium Personnel Doses in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 289
Substance Name Cadmium Cadmium Oxide Cadmium Chloride
Molecular formula Cd CdO CdCl
2

Molecular weight 112.41 128.41 183.32
Density [ g/cm
3
] 8.646 8.15 4.048
Boiling point
765 767C
1,410 1,413F
1,385 1,559C
2,525 2,838F
956.9 969.6C
1,754 1,777F
Melting point
321C
610F
1,430C
2,606F
567.9C
1,054F
Vapor pressure [ mmHg ]
1 mmHg @ 394C
760 mmHg @ 765C
1 mmHg @ 1,000C 10 mmHg @ 656C
References: Knovel, 2003, Patty, 2001, Perry, 1997

Table 1. Physical and chemical properties of cadmium and selected cadmium compounds.
Solid Phase: Solid cadmium is a soft, blue-white, metal or a gray-white powder. Cadmium
metal dust has an auto-ignition temperature of 250C (482F). Cadmium is insoluble in
water and soluble in ammonium nitrate, nitric acid, and hot sulfuric acid. Cadmium is
combustible and burns in air or oxygen, producing cadmium oxide. In moist air, cadmium
slowly oxidizes to form cadmium oxide.
Liquid Phase; At atmospheric pressure, cadmium metal melts at 321C (610F) and forms a
liquid. Liquid cadmium has a relatively high vapor pressure, as shown in Table 1. A release
of molten cadmium is expected to cool quickly to ambient temperatures and solidify. If the
ambient atmosphere is above the melting point, 321C (610F), then a fraction of the material
is expected to transfer to the vapor phase based on the vapor pressure of cadmium at the
ambient temperature.
Vapor Phase: Cadmium is a vapor at atmospheric pressure and temperatures above
approximately 765C (1,410F). In ambient air, cadmium vapor rapidly oxidizes to produce
cadmium oxide. Cadmium vapor or fumes may contain elemental cadmium or cadmium
oxide as particulate matter in the respirable range. In addition, cadmium vapor reacts with
other typical stack gases, as shown in Table 2.

Cadmium
vapor in the
presence of:
ambient air forms: cadmium oxide (CdO)
carbon dioxide (CO
2
) cadmium carbonate (CdCO
3
)
water vapor (H
2
O) cadmium hydroxide (Cd[OH]
2
)
sulfur dioxide (SO
2
) cadmium sulfite (CdSO
3
)
sulfur trioxide (SO
3
) cadmium sulfate (CdSO
4
)
hydrogen chloride (HCl) cadmium chloride (CdCl
2
)
These compounds may be formed in stacks and emitted to the environment.
Reference: Patty, 2001
Table 2. Compounds formed by atmospheric cadmium vapor.

Radioactive Waste 290
Reactions: Combustion reaction: Cadmium metal burns in air to form cadmium oxide
(CdO (s)). Combustion processes produce very fine cadmium-containing particles.
Cadmium metal does not react with water.
The overall hazards presented by cadmium are listed in the International Chemical Safety
Cards (ICSC, 2005). Cadmium accumulates in the liver and kidneys and has a biological
half-life, from 17-30 years in man. After uptake from the lung or the gastrointestinal tract,
cadmium is transported in blood plasma initially bound to albumin. Cadmium bound to
albumin is preferentially taken up by the liver. Cadmium is widely distributed in the body,
with the major portion of the body burden located in the liver and kidney. Liver and kidney
cadmium concentrations are comparable after short-term exposure, but the kidney
concentration exceeds the liver concentration following prolonged exposure.
The concentration of cadmium in the liver of occupationally exposed workers generally
increases in proportion to intensity and duration of exposures to values up to 100 g/g.
The concentration of cadmium in the kidney rises more slowly than in the liver after
exposure and begins to decline after the onset of renal damage at a critical concentration
of 160-285 g/g.
Most non-occupationally exposed people are exposed to cadmium primarily through the
diet. Cadmium can be detected in virtually all tissues in adults from industrialized
countries, with greatest concentrations in the liver and kidney. Average cadmium
concentrations in the kidney are at birth near zero, and rise roughly linearly with age to a
peak (typically around 40-50 g/g wet weight) between ages 50 and 60, after which kidney
concentrations plateau or decline. Liver cadmium concentrations also begin near zero at
birth, increase to typical values of 1-2 g /g wet weight by age 20-25, then increase only
slightly thereafter. (Corrosion-doctors, 2011)
Cadmium is classified as an A2-Suspected Human Carcinogen by the American
Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). In addition, cadmium poses
a chemical toxicity hazard to kidneys, lungs, and/or liver if ingested or inhaled. Repeated
or prolonged exposure to cadmium can damage target organs. Severe over-exposure can
result in death. Skin contact is considered an irritant or sensitizer, and eye contact is
considered an irritant.
The main routes of non-occupational exposure to cadmium are inhalation and ingestion of
fumes or dust; absorption through the skin is negligible. The major routes of occupational
exposure to cadmium are inhalation of dust and fumes and incidental ingestion of dust from
contaminated hands, cigarettes, or food. Inhalation includes (1) inhalation of cadmium-
containing particles from ambient air; (2) inhalation of cigarette smoke; and (3) occupational
inhalation of cadmium fumes and dusts.
Ingestion includes (1) consuming food -- food is the major source of non-occupational
cadmium exposure for nonsmokers, with the largest contribution from grain cereal
products, potatoes, and other vegetables; (2) drinking water -- drinking water normally has
very low levels of cadmium; and (3) incidental ingestion of cadmium-contaminated soil or
dust. Table 3 lists the harmful effects of exposure to cadmium.

Cadmium Personnel Doses in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 291
Short Term (Acute)
Exposure
Cadmium is much more dangerous by inhalation than
by ingestion. High exposures to cadmium that may be
immediately dangerous to life or health occur in jobs
where workers handle large quantities of cadmium
dust or fume; heat cadmium-containing compounds or
cadmium-coated surfaces; weld with cadmium solders;
or cut cadmium-containing materials such as bolts.
Severe exposure may occur before symptoms appear.
Early symptoms may include mild irritation of the
upper respiratory tract, a sensation of constriction of
the throat, a metallic taste, and/or a cough. A period
of 110 hours may precede the onset of rapidly
progressing shortness of breath, chest pain, and flu-
like symptoms with weakness, fever, headache, chills,
sweating and muscular pain. Acute pulmonary edema
usually develops within 24 hours and reaches a
maximum by three days. If death from asphyxia does
not occur, symptoms may resolve within a week.
Long Term (Chronic) Exposure Repeated or long-term exposure to cadmium, even at
relatively low concentrations, may result in kidney
damage and an increased risk of cancer of the lung
and of the prostate.
CFR, 2007,
29 CFR 1910.1027, Subpart Z, (2007)
Table 3. Harmful effects of cadmium exposure.
4. Source term evaluation
4.1 Mass transfer during the spilling phase
The amount of cadmium droplets and vapor which is transferred to the argon gas as a result
of the electrorefiner cracking open and spilling the liquid cadmium may be estimated using
the five-factor formula from DOE-HDBK-3010-94, (2000). This formula takes into account
the material which sprays, evaporates and droplets which splash back up from the floor.
ST = MAR DR ARF RF LPF (1)
where ST = Source term [mass entrained in the gas phase]
MAR = Material-at-risk = mass, spilled cadmium
DR = Damage ratio = fraction of mass involved
ARF = Airborne release fraction = stays in gas
RF = Respirable fraction = fraction assumed inhaled
LPF = Leak path factor = fraction which reaches people
The airborne release fraction, ARF, is evaluated from DOE-HDBK-3010-94,

(2000) Volume 1,
page 3-33 using the classification of a concentrated heavy metal solution. DOE-HDBK-3010-
94 (2000), Section 3.2.3.1 discusses free-fall spill results from heights of 1 and 3 m for
aqueous solutions with densities of approximately 1.0 (uranine) and approximately 1.3

Radioactive Waste 292
(uranium in nitric acid UNH). Section 3.2.3.1 further states that any solution containing
heavy metal salts where the liquid alone has a density in excess of approximately 1.2 g/cm
3

is considered a concentrated heavy metal solution for assigning ARF and RF values and
assigns a bounding ARF/RF of 2x10
-5
/1.0 to concentrated heavy metal solutions.
Liquid cadmium has a density of 7.78 g/cm
3
, a surface tension of 600 mN/m, and a
viscosity of 2.5 cP (Crawley, 1972). For comparison, water at 20C has a density of 1.0, a
surface tension of 73 mN/m, and a viscosity of 1 cP. It is, therefore, reasonable to conclude
that molten cadmium will have an ARF and RF more like concentrated heavy metal
solutions than like aqueous solutions with densities of approximately 1.0 because it is more
viscous, much more dense, and has a much higher surface tension than H
2
O.
Each of DR, RF, and LPF are set equal to one which is very conservative. The LPF for a
specific accident should be estimated as part of physical model development for the
movement of the argon gas with the entrained cadmium. For unmitigated release models,
the LPF is conservatively assigned as 1.0 (the maximum value).
Ballinger and Hodgson (1986) and Sutter, et. al. (1981) state that viscosity, density, and
surface tension are interrelated, and that increases in all three cause a decrease in the mass
airborne since more viscous solutions require more energy to break up the liquid into
microscopic particles. (It is worth noting, though, that those properties which contribute to a
lower ARF also contribute to a higher RF, so that nearly all of the material that becomes
airborne is respirable. This issue was addressed by conservatively setting the RF equal to
1.0.) The resulting source term is included in Table 4.

MAR DR ARF RF LPF ST
Cd, spill
= MARDRARFRFLPF
587.4 kg 1 2.0E-5 1 1 1.175E-2 kg = 11.75 g
Table 4. Source Term Parameters for a Release of Cadmium Vapor.
4.2 Evaporation mass transfer during the solidification
Experiments have shown that the spill of a liquid takes place quickly, then the liquid
spreads out on the floor uniformly to form a thin liquid layer. Its spread is limited by the
surface tension of the liquid on the floor or by some obstruction which keeps it from flowing
further. The area is estimated from the volume of liquid spilled and the thickness of the
liquid layer. In the case of the cadmium, it spills onto a steel lined concrete floor, the high
conductivity of the cadmium and the steel causes it to solidify quickly. Calculations, shown
later, indicate in less than 3 seconds. The heat transfer can be represented by transient one
dimensional heat transfer in the vertical direction, and the mass transfer can be estimated
from mass transfer for flow over a flat plate.
The molar vapor generation rate per unit area from an evaporating pool of liquid to an
ambient gas above it is a function of the saturation mole fraction of the evaporating liquid at
the temperature of the liquid, the mole fraction of the contaminant in the ambient gas, and
the mass transfer coefficient between the evaporating liquid and the ambient. For
simplification, the properties of air are used as the ambient gas instead of argon. The flux
rate by convection is given by (Bird, et. al., 1960) as

Cadmium Personnel Doses in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 293
The mass transfer coefficient for flow over a smooth flat plate is taken from Reinke and
Brosseau, (1997, equations 3A and 4A) and depends upon the Reynolds Number, the
Schmidt Number, and the gas velocity over the liquid pool. It is given by
k = 0.664 Re
L
(-0.5)
u Sc
(-2/3)
for Re
L
< 15,000 (3a)
k = 0.036 Re
L
(-0.2)
u Sc
(-2/3)
for 15,000 Re
L
300,000 (3b)
where Re
L
= Reynolds Number [ unitless ]
u = air velocity over liquid pool [ m / s ]
Sc = Schmidt Number [ unitless ]
The velocity in the argon cell is estimated at 0.5 m/s. All the properties in the above
expression are evaluated at standard cell conditions of T
Cell
= 35C and P
Cell
= 630 mmHg
(from Perry, 1997) which is the standard operating conditions of the argon cell. The value of
L is taken to be 2.75 m which is the smallest value of length considered reasonable. The mass
transfer coefficient varies inversely to L so the smaller value of L is conservative in
producing more mass flux.
Rc =
uIp
u

u
=
u.S
m
s
2.7Sm u.9S
kg
m
3
1.74 1u
-5
kg
m s
= 74,9uu (4)
Sc =

u
p
u

Cd,u
=
1.74 1u
-5
kg
m s
u.9S
kg
m
3
1.7u 1u
-5
m
2
s
= 1.u8 (5)
Correlation 3b is chosen due to the value of Reynolds number so substituting these values
into Equation 3b, the mass transfer coefficient is
k = 0.00181 m/s
Reinke and Brosseau (1997) give two other models for estimating the mass transfer. The
penetration model gives numbers that are a bit larger (10%) than the flat plate. It is much
more reasonable to use a well researched correlation like the flow over a flat plate so that is
used here. It is realized that the accuracy aim for developing a model for the source term is
to be accurate at best by a factor of 2.
The heat balance on the cadmium should contain a loss for the vaporization. This term has
been neglected in the evaluation of the heat transfer which will produce a higher
temperature and a higher mass flux. So this neglect is conservative. Following is the
prediction of the transient temperature of the cadmium. This is followed by an evaluation of
the mass transferred to the gas phase during solidification using the temperature profile and
cadmium vapor pressure.
4.2.1 Cadmium transient temperature
To determine the transient temperature of the cadmium pooled on the floor of FCF, it is
necessary to estimate its depth. This analysis assumes that the entire quantity of molten

Radioactive Waste 294
cadmium present in the MK-IV ER, 587.4 kg, spills on the floor. The volume of material
released, V
pool
is calculated from mass and density (mass/volume) as:
I
pooI
=
m
p
=
S87.4 kg
7778
kg
m
3
= u.u7SS m
3

Three different depths of the spill (pool) were considered: 1.27 cm, 1 cm, and 0.39 cm.
Dividing the volume by these three depths gives the respective areas of 5.95 m
2
, 7.55 m
2
, and
19.36 m
2
. The deeper the pool, the longer the cadmium takes to solidify. The second depth is
recommended by Reinke and Brosseau,1997. The third depth is calculated from a model
presented in Solbrig and Clarksean, 1993 which determines the depth from a balance
between gravity and surface tension forces to estimate when a spill will stop spreading. The
first depth is taken as a conservative estimate of the thickest depth and is used to determine
the temperature time and solidification time for the cadmium. The third depth produces the
largest area of the spill. These two values are used in conjunction to produce the largest flux
(1.27 cm) and the largest area 19.36 m
2
to estimate the total cadmium evaporated.
The results of the thermal analysis of the cadmium spilling directly onto the steel liner is
shown in Figure 6. On the upper surface of the cadmium, the heat transfer coefficient is 8.72
W/m K convecting to the 35C cell gas, and the emissivity is 0.8 radiating to a 35C cell
environment. The cadmium starts at 500C, cools down and solidifies at 321C. The
cadmium thickness, 1.27 cm, is the same as the steel liner. The cadmium is completely
solidified by 3 seconds.

Fig. 6. Temperatures from spilling 500C cadmium on 35C steel-lined concrete floor
The upper surface temperature of the cadmium projects a vapor pressure which determines
the mass transfer to the ambient.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
450
500
0 1 2 3 4
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
,

C
Time, seconds
Cadmium Spill
Steel liner
Lower
layer
Concret
e
top and
bottom
Cadmium
Upper
layer
Cadmiu
m
lower
layer
Steel liner
upper
layer

Cadmium Personnel Doses in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 295
4.2.2 Vapor generation determination
The vapor pressure curve for cadmium is shown in Figure 7. Due to lack of data below
420C, the curve is conservatively approximated from 321C to 420C.

Fig. 7. Vapor Pressure of Cadmium
The temperature data in Figure 6 and the vapor pressure in Figure 7 can be combined to
yield the vapor pressure of the cadmium versus time as shown in Figure 8.

Fig. 8. Vapor Pressure during Solidification
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
300 350 400 450 500
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
,

m
m
H
g
Temperature, C
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
V
a
p
o
r

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
,

m
m
H
g
Time, seconds

Radioactive Waste 296
Now, Equation 2 can be used to estimate the molar flux rate leaving the surface by utilizing
Daltons law which states that the saturation mole fraction may be evaluated as the ratio of
the saturation pressure to the ambient pressure since it is applicable when contaminant
concentrations are low and pressure is near atmospheric.
y
Cd,sut
=
P
Cd,sut
P
ccII

The mole fraction in the ambient is set equal to zero to maximize the calculated flux. Thus
Equation 2 reduces to
Jn
Jt
= kp _
P
Cd,sut
P
ccII
]
Thus, the molar flux rate is proportional to the vapor pressure. By substituting in the values
for k, into this equation, the molar flux can be determined and is shown in Figure 9.

Fig. 9. Molar flux of Cadmium
The total molar flux over 3 seconds is obtained by integrating the instantaneous molar flux
in Figure 9 to obtain 7.42x10
-4
mol/m
2
. The mass flux is obtained by multiplying this by the
molecular weight of cadmium and converting from kg to mg, to obtain 83.5 mg/m
2
. The
total mass over the whole surface is obtained by multiplying this by the 19.36 m
2
area to
obtain ST
Cd,Evap
= 1620 mg.
SI
Cd,Lup
= 7.42 1u
-4
gmol
m
2
u.112
kg
gmol
19.S6m
2
= 162u mg
5. Evaluation of airborne concentrations
5.1 Airborne concentrations in the argon cell operating corridor
Indoor airborne concentrations are evaluated based on the source terms described in
Section 4 assuming an instantaneous release with rapid mixing throughout the available
0.0000
0.0002
0.0004
0.0006
0.0008
0.0010
0.0012
0.0014
0.0016
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
M
o
l
a
r

E
v
a
p

r
a
t
e
,

m
o
l
/
s

m
2
Time, seconds

Cadmium Personnel Doses in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 297
argon cell plus operating corridor volume and no subsequent losses, such as those due to
leakage, ventilation, plate-out, or deposition.
The release occurs in the argon cell with subsequent release to the argon cell operating
corridor through the small area opened up in the cell wall by the earthquake assuming no
resistance for interchange between the cell and the corridor, the volume over which the
cadmium is dispersed is the combined volume of the argon cell and the argon cell
operating corridor. Assume (1) the mass vapor generation rate remains constant over the
release duration; (2) rapid mixing occurs throughout the available dispersion volume; and
(3) there are no subsequent losses, such as those due to leakage, ventilation, plate-out, or
deposition.
V
D
= 3,568 [ m
3
]
Corridor Airborne Concentration for the spilling phase: The cadmium source term
determined in section 4.1 is
C
Cd,indoor,spill
= ST
Cd, spill
/ V
D

where
C
Cd,indoor,spill
= indoor airborne concentration of cadmium [ mg/m
3
]
ST
Cd, spill
= airborne respirable source term of cadmium [ mg ]
V
D
= available dispersion volume [ m
3
]
Corridor Airborne Concentration for the Evaporation Phase: The cadmium source term
determined in section 4.2 is
C
Cd,indoor,spill
= ST
Cd, spill
/ V
D

where
C
Cd,indoor,evap
= indoor airborne concentration of cadmium [ mg/m
3
]
ST
Cd, evap
= airborne respirable source term of cadmium [ mg ]
V
D
= available dispersion volume [ m
3
]
5.2 Outside airborne concentrations
Outside airborne concentrations are evaluated based on the source terms described in
Section 4 and applicable dispersion coefficients, assuming a release of material to the
outside atmosphere with no losses within the building. Thus the source term is actually
used twice. Once, assuming all the cadmium stays in the FCF building. The second time, it
is assumed that all the material leaves the building and is dispersed in the atmosphere.
Three separate locations are tabulated for the possible dose to an individual at that
location. These are:
100 m Collocated worker
280 m The distance from the FCF to the bus parking lot is 280 m (0.2 miles).
5,000 m Off-site public
The distance from the FCF to the nearest site boundary is 5,000 m (3 miles). Consequences to
the off-site public are evaluated at 5,000 m (3 miles) although no one would actually park
and stay at the site boundary.

Radioactive Waste 298
Dispersion Coefficient (/Q)An effective dispersion coefficient (/Q), based on variable
parameters such as release height, distance to receptor, and receptor height, is applied when
evaluating outside releases and environmental exposures. The factor (/Q)describes
Gaussian plume dispersion and may be hand calculated or determined using Radiological
Safety Analysis Computer Program (RSAC, 2003) based on meteorological and other input
parameters. The dispersion coefficient is used to estimate the quantity of contaminants at a
location of interest as the result of an airborne release, based on Pasquill stability class and
distance from point of release to receptor. In calculations, it is used as a reduction factor to
account for the effects of transporting the contaminant from the release point to the receptor
location. For the purposes of this evaluation, the maximally exposed individual (MEI) is
assumed to be at the distance corresponding to the maximum dispersion coefficient. This
analysis uses very non dispersive meteorology which would persist 95% or greater for
outdoor dispersion estimates. The result is an extremely conservative evaluation. For this
reason, an actual release scenario is expected to result in consequences less severe than those
estimated in this chapter.
These calculations conservatively neglects the particle deposition that would normally occur
as the material is transported from the point of release to the receptor location, which would
cause a further reduction of the airborne concentration at the receptor location. Note that
dispersion methodologies are not precise and provide only estimates of the consequences of an
accidental release. The (/Q) values used in this evaluation were developed using INLs
Radiological Safety Analysis Computer Program (RSAC, 2003) and are listed in Table 5.
Higher dispersion coefficients mean that the weather is calmer so that less dispersion takes
place. For conservatism, the larger, (/Q) values obtained using the Markee method are used
for all dose consequence calculations resulting in higher estimates of the cadmium exposure.

Distance from release point to receptor 100 m 280 m 5,000 m
/Q using Hilsmeier-Gifford method
(release duration <15 minutes)
3.217 10
-2
s/m
3
5.638 10
-3
s/m
3
5.697 10
-5

s/m
3
/Q using Markee method
(15 minutes release duration 60 minutes)
4.081 10
-3
s/m
3
1.309 10
-3
s/m
3
4.120 10
-5

s/m
3
Reference: RSAC, 2003
Table 5. Dispersion coefficients for the Fuel Conditioning Facility
Outside Airborne Concentration Spilling Phase
Outside airborne concentrations are evaluated based on the source terms described in
Section 4, release duration, and applicable dispersion coefficients, assuming a release of
material to the outside atmosphere with no losses within the building, and the entire quantity
of material is released over the release duration (t). Although the release takes place very
quickly, in order to compare it to the limits, the average rate over 60 minutes must be used.
Outside Airborne Concentration Spilling Phase
C
Cd,outside,spill
= ST
Cd,spill
(/Q) / t
where C
Cd,outside,spill
= outside airborne concentration of cadmium [ mg/m
3
]
ST
Cd,spill
= airborne respirable source term of cadmium [ mg ]
t = release duration [ s ]=15 min
Q = dispersion coefficient [ s/m
3
]

Cadmium Personnel Doses in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 299
Outside Airborne Concentration -- Evaporation Phase
C
Cd,outside,evap
= ST
Cd,evap
(/Q) / t
where C
Cd,outside,evap
= outside airborne concentration of cadmium [ mg/m
3
]
ST
Cd,evap
= airborne respirable source term of cadmium [ mg ]
6. Toxicological exposure parameters
The dose guidelines that are used in this chapter are based upon Temporary Emergency
Exposure Limits (TEEL) Protective Action Criteria (PAC) for exposure to the guideline
concentration for 60 minutes that are defined at the DOE website (DOE, 2011). The PACs
(PACs, 2009) used in this chapter are defined as follows:
TEEL-0: This is the threshold concentration below which most people will experience no
appreciable risk of health effects. This PAC is always based on TEEL-0
PAC-1: The maximum concentration in air below which it is believed nearly all individuals
could be exposed without experiencing other than mild transient adverse health effects or
perceiving a clearly defined objectionable odor.
PAC-2: The maximum concentration in air below which it is believed nearly all individuals
could be exposed without experiencing or developing irreversible or other serious health
effects or symptoms that could impair their abilities to take protective action.
PAC-3: The maximum concentration in air below which it is believed nearly all individuals
could be exposed without experiencing or developing life-threatening health effects.
These are:
1. The dose a person could be exposed to for an eight hour day without experiencing
adverse health effects 0.005 mg/m
3
.
2. The maximum concentration in air below which it is believed nearly all individuals
could be exposed without experiencing other than mild transient adverse health effects
or perceiving a clearly defined objectionable odor. 0.03 mg/m
3
.
3. The maximum concentration in air below which it is believed nearly all individuals
could be exposed without experiencing or developing irreversible or other serious
health effects or symptoms that could impair their abilities to take protective action.
1.25 mg/m
3
.
4. The maximum concentration in air below which it is believed nearly all individuals
could be exposed without experiencing or developing life-threatening health effects for
60 minutes. 9.0 mg/m
3
A 60 minute exposure or longer to the dose of 9.0 mg/m
3
would be expected to produce life-
threatening health effects. Based on the above guidelines, Table 6 lists airborne
concentrations that bound consequence categories.


Persons Receiving Dose
Negligible
if less than:
Low
if less than:
Moderate
if less than:
High
if greater than
All workers 0.03 [ mg / m
3
] 1.25 [ mg / m
3
] 9 [ mg / m
3
] 9 [ mg / m
3
]
Off-site public 0.002 [ mg / m
3
] 0.03 [ mg / m
3
] 1.25 [mg / m
3
] 1.25 [mg / m
3
]
Table 6. Chemical Toxicity Consequence Thresholds For Cadmium.

Radioactive Waste 300
Since 9 mg/m
3
is the concentration 60 minute exposure limit for morbidity, then other
exposures may be compared to the product of these two so the morbidity concentration time
limit is 540 mg minutes/m
3
. Thus, an exposure of 1.00 mg/m
3
for 9 hours or an exposure of
18 mg/m
3
for 30 minutes would meet the criteria for life-threatening health effects as well.
7. Consequences of a vapor release due to liquid cadmium spill
The consequences are based on the DOE protective action criteria (PAC) described above,
and are in the form of maximum allowable airborne concentrations that correspond to
consequence levels of negligible, low, moderate and high. The evaporation phase is also
very short. Heat transfer calculations show that the cadmium solidifies in less than 3
seconds. This mass is assumed to be uniformly distributed over the FCF argon cell and the
operating corridor In addition at the same time, this same mass is assumed to be released to
the atmosphere to expose workers on site, workers at the bus area, and members of the
people at the site boundary. This release is averaged over 15 minutes. The morbidity PAC
limit of 9 mg/m
3
is an airborne concentration which is breathed for 60 minutes, it is really
the integral of the concentration times the time increment at that concentration over time.
Using an averaged value over 15 minutes is appropriate in analyzing the effects of a much
higher release concentration which occurs only over 3 seconds. Applying these conservative
methods result in the following doses and consequences
The airborne concentration levels are calculated in Table 7 assuming that the release occurs
over a 15 minute period.

Receptor
Concentration
(mg/m
3
)
Consequences
Facility worker 11.75 10
3
mg 3568 m
3
3.29 MODERATE
On Site (100m) 11.7510
3
mg /900s4.08110
-3
s/m
3
0.0533 LOW
Bus Area
(280 m)
11.7510
3
mg /900s1.309 10
-3
s/m
3
0.0153 NEGLIGIBLE
Public
(5,000 m)
11.7510
3
mg /900s4.120 10
-5
s/m
3
0.00054 NEGLIGIBLE
Table 7. Consequences of Cadmium Vapor Release Due To MK-IV ER Spill Spilling
The dose consequence of the evaporation phase is included in Table 8. . The total evaporated
mass is conservatively estimated to be 1620 mg in less than 3 seconds. As in the spilling
phase, the evaporation rate is average over 15 minutes.

Receptor
Concentration
(mg/m
3
)
Consequences
Facility worker 1620 mg/3568 m
3
0.454 LOW
Site worker 100 m 1620 mg/900s 4.081 10
-3
s/m
3
0.0073 NEGLIGIBLE
Bus Area (280 m) 1620 mg/900s 1.309 10
-3
s/m
3
0.0023 NEGLIGIBLE
Public (5,000 m) 1620 mg/900s 4.120 10
-5
s/m
3
0.00007 NEGLIGIBLE
Table 8. Consequences of Cadmium Vapor Release Due To MK-IV ER Spill Evaporation
The sum of the two phases is included in Table 9 along with the consequences.

Cadmium Personnel Doses in an Electrorefiner Tipping Accident 301
Receptor
Concentration
(mg/m
3
)
Concentration
(mg/m
3
)
Concentration
(mg/m
3
)
Consequences
Facility worker 3.29 0.073 3.74 MODERATE
Site worker
(100 m)
0.0533 0.358 0.0606 LOW
Bus Area (280
m)
0.0153 0.115 0.0186 NEGLIGIBLE
Public (5,000
m)
5.38E-04 0.003 0.00061 NEGLIGIBLE
Table 9. Consequences of Cadmium Vapor Release Due To MK-IV ER Spill Combined
Spilling and Evaporation
So in conclusion, with the many conservative assumptions involved in this analysis, the
consequences of this possible accident are extremely small for collocated workers and the
public. For a facility worker who remains in the building for 60 minutes the exposure is only
moderate, however, staying there for 180 minutes would be detrimental to his health and
could cause death. Without the failure of the SES, there would be negligible doses to all
workers and the general public since all releases would be through two sets of seismically
qualified HEPA filters which would reduce the releases outside the building by a factor of
four and eliminate the dose to the facility workers.
8. Acknowledgement
Work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) under
DOE Idaho Operations Office Contract DE-AC07-05ID14517.
9. References
Ballinger, M.Y., and Hodgson, W.H., (1986), Aerosols Generated by Spills of Viscous
Solutions and Slurries, NUREG/CR-4658, Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs, Richland, WA, Dec 1986.
Bird, R..B., Stewart, W.E., and Lightfoot, E.N., Transport Phenomena, P. 655 to 659 ff, John
Wiley & Sons, 1960.
Corrosion-doctors, (2011),
http://corrosion-doctors.org/Elements-Toxic/Cadmium-distribution.htm
Chemicool, (2011), http://www.chemicool.com/elements/cadmium.html
Crawley, A. F. (1972), Densities and Viscosities of Some Liquid Alloys of Zinc and
Cadmium, Metallurgical Transactions B, Volume 3, No. 4, p. 971-975, 1972.
CFR, 2007, 29 CFR 1910.1027, Subpart Z, (2007), Toxic and Hazardous Substances,
Cadmium, Appendix A, Substance Safety Data Sheet, Cadmium

, Code of Federal
Regulations, Office of the Federal Register, July 2007. Reference: 29 CFR, 2007.
DOE, 2011, http://www.hss.energy.gov/HealthSafety/WSHP/chem_safety/teel.html
DOE-HDBK-3010-94, (2000), Change 1, Airborne Release Fractions/Rates and Respirable
Fractions for Nonreactor Nuclear Facilities, U.S. Department of Energy, 2000.
ICSC (2005), International Chemical Safety Cards, Cadmium, National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health, Validated April 2005,

Radioactive Waste 302
NUREG/CR-6410, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Faciility Accident Analysis Handbook, Division of Fuel
Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards,
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, March 1998.
PACs (2009), Table 2: Protective Action Criteria (PAC) Rev 24B based on applicable60-
minute AEGLs, ERPGs, or TEELs (Chemicals listed in alphabetical order), June
2009, http://www.atlintl.com/DOE/teels/teel/Revision_24B_Table2.pdf
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0020.html
Perry, 1997, Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook, 7th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1997.
Reinke, P. H. and Brosseau, L. M., (1997), Development of a Model to Predict Air
Contaminant Concentrations Following Indoor Spills of Volatile Liquids, British
Occupational Hygiene Society, Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Volume 41, No. 4,
p. 415-435, 1997.
RSAC 6.2, (2003), Radiological Safety Analysis Computer Program, Version 6.2, Idaho
National Laboratory, December 2003.
Solbrig, C. W., and Clarksean, R. L., (1993), Determination of the Shape of a Plutonium
Deposit from a Leaking Crucible, Proceedings of the Second International
Conference of Nuclear Engineering, San Francisco, Ca., USA, March 1993,
ASME/JSME Nuclear Engineering Conference, Vol. 1, pp. 671-682.
Sutter, S.L., Johnston, J.W., Mishima, J., (1981), Aerosols Generated by Free Fall Spills of
Powders and Solutions in Static Air, NUREG/CR-2139, Nuclear Regulatory
Commision, Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs, Richland, WA, Dec, 1981.
Till, C. E., and Chang, Y. I., Evolution of the Liquid Metal Reactor: The Integral Fast Reactor
(IFR) Concept, American Power Conference, Chicago, IL, April 24-28, 1989.
Till, C. E., Chang, Y. I., and Hannum, W. H., The Inegral Fast Reactor-an Overview, Progress
in Nuclear Energy, Vol 31, P. 3, 1997.
14
Radioactive Waste
Management of Fusion Power Plants
Luigi Di Pace
1
, Laila El-Guebaly
2
,
Boris Kolbasov
3
, Vincent Massaut
4
and Massimo Zucchetti
5

1
EURATOM/ENEA Fusion Association, ENEA C.R Frascati
2
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
3
Kurchatov Institute, Moscow
4
SCK CEN, Mol
5
EURATOM/ENEA Fusion Association, Politecnico di Torino, Torino
1,5
Italy
2
USA
3
Russia
4
Belgium
1. Introduction
This chapter outlines the attractive environmental features of nuclear fusion, presents an
integral scheme to manage fusion activated materials during operation and after
decommissioning, compares the volume of fusion and fission waste, covers the recycling,
clearance, and disposal concepts and their official radiological limits, and concludes with a
section summarizing the newly developed strategy for fusion power plants.
As fusion plays an essential role in the future energy market providing an
environmentally attractive source of nuclear energy (Ongena & Van Oost, 2001), it is
predictable that there will be tens of fusion power plants commissioned worldwide on an
annual basis by the end of the 21
st
century. The ability of these fusion power plants to
handle the radioactive waste stream during operation and after decommissioning
suggests re-evaluating the underground disposal option at the outset before considering
the environmental impact statement needed for licensing applications. Adopting the 1970s
preferred approach of disposing the activated materials in geological repositories after
plant decommissioning is becoming difficult to envision because of the limited capacity of
existing repositories, difficulty of building new ones, tighter environmental control, and
radwaste burden for future generations. Alternatively, fusion scientists are currently
promoting a new strategy: avoid underground disposal as much as possible, implement at
the maximum extent the recycling of activated materials within the nuclear industry,
and/or the clearance and release to commercial markets if materials contain traces of
radioactivity. This strategy requires a major rethinking and strong R&D program, hoping
all fusion developing countries will be strongly supportive of the proposed recycling and
clearance approaches.

Radioactive Waste

304
Ever since the development of nuclear fusion designs in the early 1970s, most of the related
studies and experiments have been devoted to the deuterium (D) and tritium (T) fuel cycle
the easiest way to reach ignition and the preferred cycle (feasible with current technology)
for the first generation of fusion power facilities. Nevertheless, the stress on fusion safety
has stimulated worldwide research on fuel cycles other than D-T, based on advanced
reactions with a much lower neutron level. The focus of this chapter is on fusion power
plants fuelled with D-T where the reaction can be expressed as follows:
( ) ( )
2 3 4 1
1 1 2
D T He 3.5 MeV n 14.1 MeV + + (1)
Fig. 1(a) shows a schematic of the D-T fusion reaction, while Fig. 1(b) compares the D-T
reaction with other potential fusion reactions according to their reaction rate
1
.





(a) (b)

Fig. 1. (a) D-T fusion reaction
(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Deuterium-tritium_fusion.svg)
(b) Fusion reaction rates
Courtesy of J. Santarius (University of Wisconsin, USA)

1
The field of plasma physics deals with phenomena of electromagnetic nature that involve very high
temperatures. It is customary to express temperature in electronvolts (eV) or kiloelectronvolts (keV),
where 1 eV = 11605 K. That derives from the equivalence energy-temperature expressed by the
Boltzmann constant k = 1.3807 10
23
JK
1
, which corresponds to 8.6175 10
5
eV/K, as
1 eV = 1.6022 10
19
J. Hence 1 eV = 1/ 8.6175 10
5
= 11605 K

Radioactive Waste Management of Fusion Power Plants

305
As noted, the D-T reaction rate peaks at a lower temperature (about 70 keV, or 800 million
Kelvin) with a higher value than other reactions commonly considered for future fusion
devices with advanced fuel cycles. Deuterium can be easily extracted from seawater while
tritium can be produced through neutron interaction with lithium (a readily available light
metal in the earths crust). Although the products of the D-T fusion reaction (helium and
neutrons) are not radioactive, neutrons are absorbed/captured by structural materials and
fluids surrounding the plasma. The 14.1-MeV energetic neutrons can transmute some elements
of the structural materials and produce radioactive isotopes. These materials belong
principally to the in-vessel components (e.g. blanket, shield and divertor of a tokamak
2
fusion
plant). Furthermore, a small percentage of the D-T fuel is consumed and some tritium (the one
not reacting with deuterium and not extracted from the plasma chamber) could escape and
contaminate the plasma facing components by various mechanisms (diffusion, implantation
and co-deposition). Hence, the issue of fusion radioactive waste handling is not only linked to
the safe and environmentally friendly management of activated materials, but also to the
detritiation and treatment of contaminated components.
2. The attractive environmental features of fusion
Fusion devices, although being nuclear installations, have certain characteristics as to make
them environmentally friendly devices. Prior to analyzing the management scheme of
fusion activated materials, it is worthwhile to highlight what makes fusion energy safe and
environmentally attractive compared to other nuclear energy sources:
There is no chain nuclear reaction.
A small amount of fuel circulates (order of grams) in the reaction chamber which
maintains the D-T reaction for only few seconds.
The power density in a fusion reactor is much lower than that of fission reactors and it
can be limited by design in such a way to moderate the consequences of most severe
accidents.
The main radioactive inventory is generated by neutron activation of plasma
surrounding components. This activation process, indeed, depends strongly on the type
of irradiated materials and the careful choice of material constituents.
These and other factors corroborate the hypothesis that fusion power, with a safety-
oriented design and a smart choice of its constituting materials, can be intrinsically safe
with very low probability of severe accidents (and even in case of accident, without
important impact on the surrounding population) and minimal environmental impact
(Gulden at al., 2000). These attractive features are defined as the intrinsically safe
characteristics of fusion.
3. Comparison with nuclear fission radioactive waste management
As noticed, differences exist between fission and fusion in terms of fuels, reaction products,
activated material type, activity levels, half-life, radiotoxicity, etc. The quantity of activated
material originating from the fusion power core is larger than that from the fission core (per

2
A tokamak is a toroidal device that employs magnetic fields to confine the plasma in the shape of a
torus.

Radioactive Waste

306
unit of electricity produced) (El-Guebaly et al., 2008). The main differences between fission and
fusion waste are related to their radiotoxicity (much higher in fission for waste originating
from the fuel cycle) and waste form for their final disposal. When recycling is conceived,
fission has a large share of highly radioactive and radiotoxic liquid secondary waste from
spent fuel reprocessing, which has to be solidified by cementation or vitrification. Fusion waste
in terms of volume is mostly solid and does not require those processes in extensive way.
However, fusion solid waste too requires treatment (decontamination, detritiation, cutting,
compacting) and conditioning (stabilizing e.g. by grout, packaging, etc.) which will generate
some secondary waste requiring solidification. It is worthwhile to mention that tritiated water
at low tritium concentration will be produced as well from the Fuel Cycle Systems requiring
treatment and in some cases conditioning. Most importantly, the fusion generated waste is not
intrinsic to the fusion reaction, and therefore is more controllable. Thus, providing prudent
and intelligent selection of materials and processes (avoiding noxious impurities), fusion
reactors can avoid generating high level and long-lived waste streams. This is probably the
most important difference between fusion and fission radioactive waste, and this will have an
important impact on their management.
Nuclear weapon proliferation issue of a nuclear device such as a tokamak-based fusion
power plant - needs to be thoroughly addressed. If future fusion power plants can utilize
advanced fuel cycles (such as D-
3
He, or
3
He-
3
He), the fuel cycle will practically be tritium-
free. However, using the D-T reaction, two main proliferation aspects have to be addressed:
1. Tritium is a weapon proliferation relevant material. However, the emphasis of the NPT
(Non-Proliferation Treaty) is on fissionable substances and technologies that are related
to U and Pu bombs, as the Treaty excludes fusionable materials.
2. The presence of intense neutron fluxes may bring their use to irradiate uranium in
order to breed plutonium. It would also be possible to breed another fissile material,
233
U, through the irradiation of thorium.
Concerning the second point, a possible proliferation-relevant technique could involve an
infrequent replacement of a tritium-breeding blanket with modules breeding fissile-fuel. In
a fusion power plant it would be much easier to enforce safeguard because one would be
looking for fissile or fertile material in an environment where few quantities of it or not at all
should be present, in contrast to looking for small discrepancies in the large inventories of a
fission power plant. To conclude, the proliferation relevance of a tokamak-based fusion
power plant would pose solvable problems from the safeguards viewpoint.
4. Previous results of back end studies for fusion power plants
Ever since the late 1990s, some studies have been carried out at international level to
analyse waste management issues related to operation of future commercial power plants,
focused on the three scenarios for managing fusion active materials: disposal, recycling,
and clearance (i.e. declassification to non-radioactive material). They have been applied to
selected U.S. and European fusion power plant studies: SEAFP (Raeder (ed.), 1995),
ARIES (El-Guebaly, 2007), and PPCS (Maisonnier et al., 2005) (mostly tokamak-based
designs, with the sole exception on ARIES-CS a compact stellarator
3
). In general, these

3
A stellarator is a device using only external magnetic coils to confine hot plasma and to
sustain a controlled nuclear fusion reaction

Radioactive Waste Management of Fusion Power Plants

307
studies estimated the amount of potential radioactive waste generated by the fusion
power plants of different design concepts and their share amongst the different potential
routes of management. These studies made use of classification and categorization
approaches and management schemes similar to those of fission waste management. As a
general conclusion, it was possible to outline the feasibility of recycling and clearance in
extensive way.
These approaches became more technically feasible in recent years with the development of
radiation-resistant remote handling (RH) tools and the introduction of the clearance
category for slightly radioactive materials by the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA, 2004) and other national nuclear agencies (US-NRC, 2003; EC-RP, 2000; 2003; NRB,
1996). A great deal of the decommissioning materials (up to 80%) has a very low activity
concentration and can be cleared from regulatory control, especially when a duration period
(up to 100 y) of interim storage is anticipated (US-NRC, 2003). The remaining 20% of the
active materials could be disposed of as low level waste (LLW) or preferably recycled using
a combination of advanced and conventional RH equipment. Most fusion active materials
contain tritium that could introduce complications to the recycling process. A detritiation
treatment prior to recycling is, then, imperative for fusion components with high tritium
content (El-Guebaly et al., 2008).
5. Revision of clearance and recycling concepts and limits
Clearance (unrestricted release from regulatory control) means that the material
complying with the requirements defined by the national regulatory authorities can be
handled as if it contains no radioactivity significantly higher than naturally occurring.
Under this option, solid material can be reused without restriction, recycled into a consumer
product, or disposed off in any industrial landfill.
The main requirement for the unconditional clearance is that the Clearance Index CI must be
below unity. CI is given by the following relationship:
CI
i
i
i
A
L

=

(2)
where A
i
is the specific activity of a nuclide after storage, L
i
is the clearance limit and i
represents the different nuclides contained in the material.
The clearance concepts and limits have been under development since the early 1950s.
In 1996, the IAEA prepared an interim report [TECDOC-855 (IAEA, 1996)] on
recommended clearance limits for 1650 radionuclides of interest to fission and fusion
applications. However, these recommendations were never endorsed by all the IAEA
member states. Solely Russia included 297 of the limits recommended by the IAEA
interim report into its Radiation Safety Regulations of 1996 (NRB, 1996) as minimally
significant specific activities (MSSA). These regulations were revised twice in 1999 and
2009 (NRB, 1999, 2009), but the MSSA values were not changed, although the number of
the radionuclides and natural radioactive elements covered by these regulations was
increased up to 300.

Radioactive Waste

308
A set of documents on the same topic was published by European Commission (EC) (EC-
RP, 2000, 2003) and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) NUREG-1640 (US-NRC,
2003). IAEA published in 2004 the revised clearance standards (IAEA, 2004) for 277
radionuclides, claiming to take into account the U.S. NUREG-1640 document and European
Commission evaluations. The majority of the new clearance limits recommended by the
IAEA were notably lower (down to 4 orders of magnitude for some radionuclides) than the
values proposed in 1996 by the TECDOC-855 (IAEA, 1996).
All the standards under consideration take the limit for the annual individual effective dose
of 10 Sv as the basis for clearance of solids from regulatory control. Nevertheless, a
difference by 1-2 orders of magnitude between the last clearance limits recommended by the
IAEA and U.S. NRC is observed for many radionuclides. Some clearance limits differ even
by 3-4 orders of magnitude. Discrepancy between values offered by the IAEA and EC is less
(not greater than an order of magnitude for most radionuclides).
The recent Russian sanitary regulations (OSPORB, 2010) approved in 2010 have introduced
into practice, along with MSSA corresponding to the IAEA recommendations of 1996 (IAEA,
1996), clearance limits coincident with the values recommended by the IAEA in 2004. There
are no restrictions for utilization of materials and products (except foodstuffs, drinking
water and fodder) if clearance index is below unity. The materials with specific activity
between the clearance limit and MSSA can have limited use if the annual individual
effective radiation dose at their utilization will not exceed 10 Sv. If the utilization of such
materials is impossible or inexpedient, they should be disposed of in non-radioactive
industrial landfill type facilities. The document (OSPORB, 2010) also contains clearance
limits for some long-lived radionuclides in metals (intermediate between general clearance
limits and MSSA).
The clearance limits for selected radionuclides encountered in fusion applications, according
to the standards and guidelines cited are shown in Table 1.

Nuclide
IAEA
(IAEA, 2004)
United States
NUREG-1640 (US-NRC,
2003)
(steel / Cu / concrete)
Russia
(NRB, 2009; OSPORB, 2010)

(general / metals / MSSA)
European
Union
EC RP 122
(EC-RP,
2000)
3
H 100 526 / 1e5 / 152 100 / - / 10
6
100
14
C 1 313 / 4.17e4 / 83 1 / - / 10
4
10
22
Na

0.1 0.238 / 8.33 / 0.0417 0.1 / - / 10 0.1
40
K

10 2.94 / 153.8 / 0.526 10 / - / 100 1
41
Ca

--- 47.6 / 9.1e3 / 13.9 -- ---
45
Ca

100 5e3 / 7e4 / 909 100 / - / 10
4
100
53
Mn

100 1.14e4 / 7.1e5 / 6.67e3 100 / - / 10
4
1000
54
Mn 0.1 0.625 / 23.26 / 0.118 0.1 / 1 / 10 0.1
55
Fe

1000 2.17e4 / 2.33e5 / 4.76e3 10
3
/ - / 10
4
100
59
Fe

1 0.476 / 22.7 / 0.114 1 / - / 10 0.1
58
Co 1 0.588 / 28.57 / 0.133 1 / - / 10 0.1
60
Co 0.1 0.192 / 9.1 / 0.035 0.1 / 0.3 / 10 0.1

Radioactive Waste Management of Fusion Power Plants

309
Nuclide
IAEA
(IAEA, 2004)
United States
NUREG-1640 (US-NRC,
2003)
(steel / Cu / concrete)
Russia
(NRB, 2009; OSPORB, 2010)

(general / metals / MSSA)
European
Union
EC RP 122
(EC-RP,
2000)
59
Ni 100 2.17e4 / 3.57e5 / 4.76e3 100 / - / 10
4
100
63
Ni 100 2.13e4 / 1.85e5 / 4.76e3 100 / - / 10
5
100
64
Cu 100 --- 100 / - / 100 ---
94
Nb 0.1 0.333 / 11.5 / 0.059 0.1 / 0.4 / 10 0.1
99
Mo 10 --- 10 / - / 100 1
99
Tc 1 6.25 / 1.05e3 / 1.64 1 / - / 10
4
1
108m
Ag

--- 0.345 / 18.18 /0.0588 -- 0.1
110m
Ag 0.1 0.192 / 10.3 / 0.0357 0.1 / 0.3 / 10 0.1
125
Sb

0.1 1.41 / 62.5 / 0.23 0.1 / 1.6 / 100 1
152
Eu 0.1 0.455 / 16.4 /0.083 0.1 / 0.5 / 10 0.1
154
Eu 0.1 0.455 / 16.67 /0.071 0.1 / 0.5 / 10 0.1
182
Ta 0.1 0.435 / 16.95 /0.091 0.1 / - / 10 0.1
192
Ir 1 0.91 / 52.63 /0.172 1 / - / 10 0.1
186
Re

1000 --- 1000 / - / 1000 100
Table 1. IAEA, U.S., Russian, and EC clearance limits (in Bq/g) for some fusion-relevant
nuclides (partly taken from TABLE I of ref. Zucchetti

et al., 2009)
The disagreement between clearance limits in different standards and recommendations is
due to the choice of different scenarios to model the effective individual dose rates and
different approximations adopted to compute the clearance limits from the effective dose
rates. For instance, the U.S. studies incorporated realistic modeling of the current U.S.
industrial practices and current data on the living habits in the United States in order to
minimize unnecessary conservatism in the dose rate estimates.
Consistency of the clearance standards is certainly desirable, particularly for materials that
may end up in the international market. However, given the complexity of the scenarios
used to develop the clearance standards with so much efforts having gone into these studies
over the past 25 years, it seems unlikely that additional, reasonable effort will be able to
reduce dramatically in the short run the differences and explain the technical reasons for the
major disagreements.
Recycling includes storage in permanently monitored facilities, segregation of various
materials, crushing, melting, refabrication and some other processes (Massaut et al.,

2007).
In the European Power Plant Conceptual Study (PPCS) (Maisonnier et al., 2005) a
simplified categorization of active material recycling criteria was used. A conclusion of
the PPCS analysis was that for all five considered plant models
4
(Models A, B C, D and

4
All five of the plant models PPCS A to D and AB are based on the tokamak concept. PPCS Model A
and Model B are based on limited extrapolations in plasma physics performance compared to the
design basis of ITER. In PPCS A and PPCS B, the blankets are based, respectively, on the water-cooled
lithium-lead and the helium (He) cooled pebble bed concepts, studied in the European fusion
program. Both concepts are based on the use of a low-activation martensitic steel. PPCS Model C and

Radioactive Waste

310
AB) , if a full use of the potential to recycle radioactive materials is made, there would be
no material requiring permanent burial after a decay storage period from a few decades to
100 y, except for a small amount of secondary waste from reprocessing (Forrest, 2005). In
other words, the recycling and clearance strategy would appear to have great potential,
since its application could strongly reduce the amount of radioactive waste to be disposed
of. The vast majority of radioactive materials (87% in PPCS Model AB and 84% in PPCS
Model B) can be cleared or recycled with low handling difficulties after a medium term
duration decay period. Only small amounts (a few hundred tons) of plasma-facing
tungsten and breeders will require specific remote handling mechanisms. Whether or not
such recycling operations would be feasible and economically viable, for all the candidate
materials had yet to be determined.
In the U.S. ARIES studies (ARIES Project), the technical feasibility of recycling is based on
the dose rate to advanced RH equipment capable of handling at 10 kGy/h or more (El-
Guebaly et al, 2008). Such dose rates are present at routine operations in the reprocessing of
fission reactor fuel and at the outside surfaces of radioactive goods during their weighing,
welding, cleaning, contamination monitoring, and transfer to containers. Corresponding
equipment for fusion applications is now under development, since it is needed for
removing the replaceable components from the vacuum vessel of the International
Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), being under construction now in the south of
France, and moving them to the hot cell.
A comprehensive survey of remote procedures in the nuclear industry was performed in
the framework of an international collaborative Study on the Back End of the Fusion
Materials Cycle (SBEFMC) carried out under the auspices of the International Energy
Agency (IEA) and documented in ref. (Zucchetti

et al., 2009). Some participants of this
study found that the remote handling criterion used in the PPCS was unduly
conservative. They did not ascertain the upper limit of the dose rate for the RH feasibility,
stating that the only upper limit for the RH feasibility seems to be the decay heat density
(2 kW/m
3
) and active wet cooling needs.
In this study it was assumed that:
no active cooling is needed (only natural ventilation) when decay heat density is
<10 W/m
3
;
dry cooling (e.g. , active ventilation) is required when decay heat density is >10 W/m
3
but <2 kW/m
3
;
active wet cooling (e.g. actively cooled storage pond) is necessary when decay heat
density is >2 kW/m
3
, coinciding with the definition of high-level radioactive waste.

Model D are based on successively more advanced concepts in plasma configuration and in materials
technology. Their technology stems, respectively, from a dual-coolant blanket concept (He and
lithium-lead coolants with steel structures and silicon carbide (SiC) insulators) and a self-cooled
blanket concept (lithium-lead coolant with a silicon carbide structure). In PPCS C the divertor is the
same concept as for Model B. In the most advanced concept, PPCS D, the divertor is cooled with
lithium-lead like the blanket. PPCS Model AB is a combination of the concepts for Model A and B, in
detail it is based on He-cooled lithium-lead blanket and He-cooled divertor. The blanket is based on the
use of EUROFER as structural material, of Pb-17Li (Li at 90% in 6Li) as breeder, neutron multiplier and
tritium carrier, and of helium as coolant.

Radioactive Waste Management of Fusion Power Plants

311
Participants of the SBEFMC expressed doubt that any recycling operations can be
performed until the decay heat density decreases to levels not requiring active cooling;
hence, interim storage in this case is the only option available. Another conclusion of this
study was that for the recycling in foundries, one can for the moment take an activity limit
of 1 kBq/g.
The above-considered criteria for feasibility of remote recycling are useful only for the first
approach to conceptual design features. They do not show actual recycling expediency,
since the processes to be used, type of material and component, economics of fabricating
remotely complex forms, and the physical properties of the recycled products also affect the
recycling advisability. Furthermore, the acceptability of the recycled materials to nuclear
industry has to be considered in parallel with contact dose rate, decay heat and activity
content levels.
6. Radioactive material generated during the fusion power plant life cycle
As fusion is expected to play an essential role in supplying clean, environmentally-friendly
energy in the second half of the 21
st
century, the ability of power plant designers to keep up
with the persistent demands of controlling the radwaste stream becomes extremely
important for fusion as well as for fission. Fusion generates only low level waste (LLW) that
requires near-surface, shallow-land burial, if clearance or recycling would not be feasible, as
all materials are carefully chosen to minimize the long-lived radioactive products.
Fig. 2 displays the reduction in the fusion power core (FPC) volume over the past 2-3
decades by clever designs that apply more advanced technology and physics operating
regimes. The volumes include the actual volumes of power core components (from plasma
facing components up to magnets), excluding the bioshield.

SiC = silicon carbide composite structure; V= vanadium alloy structure; FS = ferritic steel structure
Fig. 2. Evolution of fusion power core (FPC) volumes for U.S. tokamaks and stellarators
developed over the past 30 years (actual volumes of power core components, no
compactness, no replacements).

Radioactive Waste

312
As noticed, the tokamak volume was halved over 10 y study period, while the stellarator
FPC volume dropped by 3-fold over 25 y study period. Most of these designs were
developed in the US by the ARIES team (ARIES Project). Other fusion institutions in Europe
and Japan delivered several tokamak designs over the past decade.
To put matters into perspective, Fig. 3 compares the volumes of FPCs of ITER (ITER
Project), the advanced tokamak ARIES-AT (Najmabadi et al., 2006), the European PPCS
Model C (Maisonnier et al., 2005), the Japanese VECTOR tokamak (Nishio et al., 2004),
and the compact stellarator ARIES-CS (Najmabadi et al., 2008) to the fission core and vessel
of the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), a GEN-III
+
advanced fission
reactor.
In recent years, fusion designers have paid more attention to the waste management issues
associated with the sizable volume of activated materials discharged from fusion power
plants. Specifically, they have striven to minimize the activated materials volume problem,
not only by developing advanced designs, but also by reshaping the fusion radwaste
management scenario, maximizing the reuse of activated materials through recycling and
clearance, avoiding the disposal option.

Fig. 3. Volume of fusion power core. Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR)
fission core and vessel included for comparison (taken from Fig. 1 of ref. El-Guebaly et al.,
2008)

Radioactive Waste Management of Fusion Power Plants

313
Another source of activated materials is the biological shield. As in the fission plant, it
surrounds the power core to essentially protect the public and workers against radiation. It
is made of 2-3 -m thick steel-reinforced concrete and constructed to withstand natural
phenomena, such as earthquakes, tornados, floods, and an airplane crash. Being away from
the plasma source, the bioshield is subject to low radiation level in fusion facility and
contains very low radioactivity. Since burying such a large volume of slightly activated
materials in underground repositories is impractical, the US-NRC and IAEA suggested the
clearance concept where such components could temporarily be stored for the radioactivity
decay, then released to the commercial market for reuse as shielding blocks for containment
buildings of licensed nuclear facilities, concrete rubble base for roads, deep concrete
foundations, non-water supply dams for flood control, etc.
Most of the radioactive materials generated during fusion power plant operation are
activated solid metallic materials from the main machine components (blanket, divertor,
shield, vacuum vessel, and magnets) and concrete from the bioshield. Liquid breeders (such
as LiPb, Li, etc.) are normally refurbished for reuse during operation and in future power
plants. Even though the dominant radioactive material stream is generated during the
decommissioning phase (if one includes the bioshield), a notable amount as far as
radioactive inventory is concerned - is also produced during plant life by routine blanket
and divertor replacements. This replacement is necessary due to neutron-induced damage
to structural components operating under a 14-MeV neutron flux and due to the need to
refurbish the ceramic breeding materials if used in the blanket.
7. Clearance and recycling as viable options for managing activated
materials from fusion power plants
Clearance and recycling of structural materials are viable for fusion as the half-life of most
radioisotopes contained in such a potential waste can be limited to about 5-10 years,
meaning that after a period of about 100 years the radioactivity drops down to one
millionth of its initial value. A clever choice of constituents and alloying elements can
strongly limit the effects of neutron activation, reducing the concentration of long-lived
isotopes (Zucchetti

et al., 2007). On the other hand, most fusion active materials contain
tritium that could introduce serious complications to the recycling process. Thus a
detritiation treatment prior to recycling is imperative for fusion components with high
tritium content, as written previously, or in alternative to fulfill the waste acceptance
criteria for LLW disposal, if recycling might not be feasible. This excludes the need for
deep underground repositories.
7.1 Clearance issues for activated material from fusion power plant
The issue of clearance of fusion radioactive materials is associated to two main aspects:
a. The definition of clearance levels which, including radionuclides specific to fusion,
should be accepted, as far as possible, at the national and international levels; currently,
there is already a certain movement in this direction, as the IAEA guidelines (IAEA,
2004) have been accepted by the Member States (but are not applied as such in the
different countries);

Radioactive Waste

314
b. The public acceptance of cleared materials. Even though the fusion community and
nuclear industry favor some form of clearance standards, many industries and
environmental groups do not allow slightly radioactive solids to enter the commercial
market, no matter how low the clearance levels might be. Some European countries and
Russia have nevertheless introduced this concept in their regulations.
From the operative point of view the clearance can be divided in:
Clearance (unconditional, unrestricted release);
Conditional clearance.
Unconditional clearance means that the material is handled as if it was no longer containing
radioactive species above natural or insignificant level. Under this option, the material can
be reused without restriction, recycled into a consumer product, or disposed of in any
industrial landfill. The compliance with the limits for the clearance levels defined by the
national regulatory authorities must be verified.
Conditional clearance means that the material may be recycled or the component reused in a
specified application and subject to continuing regulatory control until specific conditions
are met to allow unconditional clearance. For example, slightly radioactive metal released
under conditional clearance can be melted in licensed melting facilities to produce metal
ingots for using them for making railroad tracks or nuclear casks. Another example is
related to fabricate concrete rubble that could be used for road construction. In other words,
conditional clearance is a restricted release of slightly radioactive material from regulatory
control under certain conditions, in particular for its first re-use. What is mostly considered
as conditional release is the clearance from regulatory control providing certain paths of
reuse are guaranteed (and followed up).
In the U.S. there is very limited support for the unconditional clearance, no matter how
restrictive the clearance standards might be. No support for the clearance option exists in
the steel and concrete industries. In absence of such a clearance market, the conditional
clearance represents a viable option an alternative to disposal. In this conditional clearance
category, the slightly radioactive materials are not recycled into a consumer product, but
rather released to dedicated nuclear-related facilities under continuing regulatory control or
to specific applications where contact for exposure of the general public is minimal. Such
slightly contaminated materials have been released since the early 1980s and continue to be
released in the U.S. under existing practices on a case-by-case basis using existing NRC
guidance and a specific provision contained in the facilitys license. While the conditional
clearance process has been ongoing in the U.S. for a few decades, a more formal and
uniform process would be highly desirable in particular prior to the decommissioning of
operating fission reactors. Three facts support this argument: the limited capacity of existing
LLW repositories, the political difficulty of building new ones, and the rising cost of
geological disposal with tighter environmental control.
From the European perspective (in Europe several countries already apply unconditional
clearance for materials coming from decommissioning of fission reactors and nuclear
facilities), the conditional clearance is an interesting option, as it can relax the conditions under
which materials can be released. Nevertheless, its application is complicated by the fact that

Radioactive Waste Management of Fusion Power Plants

315
the regulatory control, or at least a control and monitoring of the first re-use of the material has
to be performed. That increases the cost of the material management.
Some industries adopted a zero tolerance policy, expressing concerns that the presence of
radioactive materials in their products could damage their markets, erode public confidence
in the safety of their products, and negatively affect their sales. On the other hand, however,
some industries would support a restricted use scenario in which cleared materials would
be limited to selected purposes (e.g., nuclear facilities or radioactive waste containers) and
subject to control by the nuclear regulatory agencies.
There is no uniform or harmonized regulation on clearance even in the European Union.
Although the European Commission (EC) has published several guidelines on clearance of
materials from regulatory control, see for example Ref. (EC-RP, 2000), each European
country can issue its own regulation. Since the 1990s several countries have already issued
regulations on clearance and projects have cleared materials in industrial quantities (mostly
metals and concrete rubble) for their decommissioning program and related projects, The
effective dose limit of 10 Sv/y (1 mrem/y) per practice for cleared solids was adopted in
these cases. It is widely accepted by the IAEA, U.S., Russian and EU organizations, it is very
small in comparison with the allowable annual dose limit for the public (1 mSv/y).
According to the United Nations recommendations, the annual effective radiation dose
above background level to members of the public from radiation sources other than medical
exposures should not exceed 1 mSv (100 mrem). That means the 10 Sv/y dose limit for
cleared solids is 1% of the total allowable excess dose, < 0.5% of the radiation received each
year from natural background (2.4-3.6 mSv/y), and significantly less than the amount of
radiation that we receive from radioactive
40
K located in our own body (0.18 mSv/y), from
routine medical procedures (0.55 mSv/y), from living in a brick house (70 Sv/y), or from
flying across the U.S. (25 Sv).
7.2 Recycling issues for activated material from fusion power plant
Pursuing recycling of fusion materials has two main justifications: one is environmental, to
limit the amount of waste to be disposed of in repositories, and the other is economical and
resources-related, to meet the need for a more efficient and effective use of natural resources
including expensive materials (Be, V, W, etc.) envisaged for future fusion power plants.
Recycling levels used in previous EU studies (Raeder (ed.), 1995; Maisonnier et al., 2005)
were based on a coarse derivation from a summary of waste categories levels (Rocco &
Zucchetti, 1998) extended/extrapolated to a recycling classification, based only on contact
dose and decay heat rate levels. Although useful for the first approach of conceptual design
features, it did not take into account actual recycling feasibility. Indeed, it appeared that
dose rate levels were not a severe constraint for recycling and that the activity content and
decay heat removal had to be considered in parallel with the type of material and
components to be recycled (Massaut et al., 2007, Pampin et al., 2007). At present, the fission
spent nuclear fuel is reprocessed in hot cells with complete remote handling systems and
active cooling. These facilities can handle materials with dose rates of up to 1500 Gy/h.
Moreover, to remove the components from any tokamak, it is foreseen to use remote
handling systems. Advanced radiation-hardened remote handling equipment is available in
the fission industry and can be applied to fusion materials recycling. The remote handling

Radioactive Waste

316
needs for recycling are normally less stringent than the ones for removal and handling
components in the plant.
Aiming to define the recycling features in the context of a fusion-oriented approach to the
back-end of the fusion materials cycle, the following recycling handling categories have
been proposed:
HOH (Hands-On Handling). Contact dose rate (DR) <10 Sv/h.
S-HOH (Shielded Hands-On Handling). Contact DR < 2 mSv/h.
RH (Remote Handling). Contact DR >2mGy/h, it can be dealt with by remote handling
equipments, without active cooling: decay heat is <2000 W/m
3
.
ACM (Active Cooling Material). This requires active cooling and it is unlikely that
any recycling operations can be performed until its decay heat decreases to levels not
requiring active cooling, hence interim storage with cooling is the only option
available.
One of the main tasks of the latest EU study in this field (Ooms, 2007) was to overcome the
previous classification and propose realistic routes and management processes for the
materials of the PPCS plants, which would assist the design process of fusion plants and
provide guidelines for important R&D needs. Distinction is made between routes and
radiological requirements for handling, cooling, transport, etc. Routes define actual,
applicable management paths and processes to treat the activated and tritium contaminated
materials. Radiological requirements reflect limitations posed by the radioactive nature of
the materials. The EU study exemplified these by the categories in Table 2.


Limit < 10 Sv/h < 2 mSv/h < 2000 W/m
3

Handling HOH SHOH RH
Routes Clearance Recycle in foundries (1) Processes to define
Limit CI < 1 < 1000 Bq/g < 2000 W/m
3

(1) For metals
Table 2. EU management routes for fusion radioactive materials (taken from Table 1 of ref.
Zucchetti et al., 2008)
Management routes were generically categorized in clearance (unconditional and
conditional), recycling in foundries (this applies only to metals) and more complex recycling
for which the processes still have to be defined and/or developed, providing the decay heat
remains below 2000 W/m
3
.
Specific levels can be set for these three main categories, but further descriptions are given
in the next sections:
- For the unconditional clearance, the Clearance Index (CI) must be lower than unity
- For the conditional clearance, this would depend upon local regulations
- For the recycling in foundries, one can for the moment take an activity limit of
1000 Bq/g
- For the other recycling possibilities, the only limit seems to be the decay heat and active
cooling needs limit.

Radioactive Waste Management of Fusion Power Plants

317
More recently, it has been proposed (Pampin & OBrien, 2007) to override these
classification criteria with a scoring scheme, rating the difficulty of operations on active
material. The radiological scoring overcomes the requirements for the contact dose and
includes other aspects (e.g.: cooling at the moment, more if necessary in the future). It is
based on actual requirements and procedures such as handling (contact dose rates), cooling
(decay heat rates), routes, and the radiological levels derived from EU work reviewing
industrial experience (Massaut et al., 2007; Ooms & Massaut, 2005). An important element
for a credible management strategy is the capability to assess the technical difficulty of
recycling or waste conditioning treatments and operations, despite of the route pursued.
It is desirable the capability to assess and compare the radiological characteristics of the
irradiated materials, evaluate generic technical hitches posed by their radioactive nature,
and ascertain storage decay times, facilitating the processes envisaged for recycling or
disposal. For this purpose, a rudimentary scheme has been developed based on two main
aspects: handling equipment/procedures, and cooling requirements.
For handling, three main types are foreseen:
a. Unshielded hands-on handling by qualified radiation workers, HOH, when contact
dose levels are below 10 Sv/h
b. Shielded hands-on handling by qualified radiation workers, SHOH, when contact dose
rates are below 2 mSv/h; equipment such as shielded glove boxes can be conceived
under this category
c. Remote handling when contact dose levels are above 2 mSv/h.
As for cooling requirements, the following levels are envisaged:
a. No active cooling needed (only natural ventilation) when decay heat power is
< 10 W/m
3

b. Dry cooling (e.g. active ventilation) when decay heat power is > 10 W/m
3
but
< 2000 W/m
3

c. Wet cooling (e.g. actively cooled storage pond) when decay heat power is > 2000 W/m
3

coinciding with the definition of HLW.
Besides the radiation protection aspects given above, the EU recycling study and approach
has also addressed the potential routes for the recycled materials. Indeed, even if the
material can be handled hands-on or remotely, it makes no sense to go further if no
processing routes can be found for this material even without evaluating the economic
attractiveness and the potential market. Addressing the routing issue, various scenarios
have been analyzed, mostly for metals and materials to be removed from the tokamak core
and the immediate surroundings. For material with sufficiently low activity to be
unconditionally or conditionally released, usual ways of recycling (often using remelting of
the metal components) can be foreseen. Once freely released or conditionally released, the
material can follow the existing industrial recycling streams, providing some monitoring of
its use for conditional clearance. For material above the release limits, or material for which
the measurement of characteristics is difficult, or material for which the treatment would act
as a decontamination process (like metal melting for detritiation for instance), recycling
within the nuclear regulated foundries is currently used at the European and international
level. Depending on their license, these foundries can accept plus or minus contaminated or

Radioactive Waste

318
activated materials. So far, the levels of accepted and licensed activity remain very low (on
the order of hundreds of Bq/g). At any rate, melting helps to homogenize the activity
concentration, overcoming the problem of activity measurements on piece of equipments
with complex geometries. Other recycling scenarios with no melting have to be considered
as well. For instance, refractory metal (like tungsten) components, made by powder
metallurgy process, whether they are still in good condition, might be re-used within the
nuclear industry. Other recycling scenarios can also be developed for exotic materials, like
the (liquid or solid) breeder materials. The same approach can also be expected for the
superconductor material. But all these approaches need to be investigated and developed in
more detail.
It is important to develop advanced rad-hard RH equipment that can handle components
presenting dose rates up to 10000 Gy/h (10000 Sv/h) or more. This equipment is already
needed for removing the replaceable components from the vacuum vessel of a tokamak and
moving them to the hot cell. The proposed high dose rates are not far from the present
technology; e.g. in ITER design some RH equipment will have to withstand 1500 Gy/h (and
even 15000 Gy/h) with a total dose of 5-10 MGy. Such a high dose rate is reached in fusion
power plants within a few years after blanket/divertor replacement and arises mostly from
radionuclides originating from the main materials and alloying elements, not from
impurities.
The question of reprocessing of radioactive (non-clearable) materials in dedicated facilities
in order to separate noxious radionuclides is another challenge. The result of this operation
is a small quantity of concentrated radioactive waste, plus a processed material that may be
either clearable or non-clearable, to be recycled within nuclear industry, if the
separation process is viable and effective.
The development of methods to reprocess the activated alloy to extract radiotoxic nuclides is
a long and complicated task, but the possibility to eliminate the need for numerous
repositories, so minimizing the burden for future generations, apart from the small volumes
required to store the secondary waste, is very attractive and worth pursuing.
Examining several fusion designs revealed that the internal components (blanket, divertor,
shield, and vacuum vessel) are not clearable even after an extended cooling period of 100 y
(El-Guebaly et al., 2008, Zucchetti

et al., 2009). Controlling the Nb and Mo impurities in the
low-activation steel stucture may help clear the outer vacuum vessel components.
Fortunately, the bioshield (that represents the largest single component of the
decommissioned radwaste) along with some magnet constituents qualifies for clearance,
especially when a long period (up to 100 y) of interim storage is anticipated. This represents
a great deal of the decommissioning materials (70-80%). The remaining 20-30% of the active
materials could be recycled using a combination of advanced and conventional remote
handling equipment (El-Guebaly et al., 2008; Zucchetti

et al., 2009).
8. Radioactive waste classification
The radioactive waste classification differs appreciably in different countries. Below it is
given a brief summary of different waste classifications adopted in some countries, but
starting with the IAEA recent classification, as it is an international guideline.

Radioactive Waste Management of Fusion Power Plants

319
8.1 IAEA classification
The IAEA developed and published in 2009 a safety guide containing general scheme for
classifying radioactive waste that identifies the conceptual boundaries between different
classes of waste and provides guidance on their definition on the basis of long term safety
considerations (IAEA, 2009). Six classes of radioactive waste are considered as the basis for
the classification scheme in this safety guide:
1. Exempt waste (EW) that meets the criteria for clearance, exemption or exclusion from
regulatory control for radiation protection purposes as described in Ref. (IAEA, 2004).
In reality, however, once such waste has been cleared from regulatory control, it is not
considered as radioactive waste any more.
2. Very short-lived waste (VSLW) that can be stored for decay over period of up to a few
years and consequently cleared from regulatory control. In general, VSLW contains
radionuclides with half-lives of the order of 100 days or less.
3. Very low level waste (VLLW) that does not need a high level of containment and
isolation and is suitable for disposal in near surface landfill type facilities with limited
regulatory control (e.g. soil and rubble with low levels of activity concentrations). In
terms of radioactive waste safety, a radionuclide with a half-life of less than about 30
years is considered to be short-lived. Concentrations of longer lived radionuclides in
VLLW are generally very limited.
4. Low level waste (LLW) that is above clearance levels, but with limited amounts of long-
lived radionuclides. Such waste requires robust isolation and containment for periods
of up to a few hundred years and is suitable for disposal in engineered near surface
facilities.
5. Intermediate level waste (ILW) that may contain long-lived